A U.S. soldier shot dead an Afghan from a watchtower outside an airbase, officials said on Tuesday, as relatives of the victim said he was unarmed.

“The U.S. military claims that the man was carrying a gun and had been warned to stop,’’ General Zaman Mamozai, police chief of Parwan province, said.

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Mamozai said that the 21-year-old was shot on Monday outside the Bagram airfield, about 50 kilometres north of Kabul.

“The body had been removed by the time police arrived, but the victim’s family said he was carrying no weapon when he was shot,’’ Mamozai said.
However, the U.S. military said it was aware of the reports.

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The forces’ deputy chief of staff for communication in Afghanistan Brig.-Gen. Charles Cleveland added that U.S. forces were now conducting a formal investigation into this incident.

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Mamozai said that the shooting was also being investigated by Afghan police.

Bagram airfield has been the main base for the U.S.-led coalition since the Taliban were ousted in 2001. (dpa/NAN)