Fighting in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province has killed seven suspected al-Qaida “facilitators” and a young child, U.S. military officials said Thursday.

The clash occurred when U.S. and Afghan forces raided a compound in the village of Asmar.

The troops “came under direct fire when approaching the compound and defended themselves with return fire,” according to a news release issued by the U.S. military.

“All of the men killed were engaging Afghan and coalition forces with hostile fire,” the release read, but a child — said to be between 10 and 12 years old — was killed and a woman was wounded. Four other men in the compound were arrested, officials said.

U.S. officials blamed the militants for the civilian casualties.

“The al Qaeda fighters deliberately put women and children at risk in an effort to protect their illegal and immoral operations,” Col. Thomas Collins, the Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan spokesman, said.

No U.S. or Afghan troops were injured in the fighting, officials said.

Later Thursday, local Afghan officials were disputing the American release, saying those killed were members of two families in a dispute.

Military officials evacuated the woman to a coalition medical facility and are trying to identify both her and the child, according to the release.

Other militants escaped the scene during the fight, officials said.

“The purpose of this operation was to capture a known al Qaeda facilitator. Credible intelligence linked the targeted individual to suspected terrorist activities and attacks against Afghan and Coalition forces in Kunar Province,” the release read.

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