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Two U.S. service members were killed during a fierce battle with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan early Thursday — which local officials said resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.

The Americans were on a “train, advise and assist” mission led by Afghan forces when they came under heavy fire miles north of the restive city of Kunduz, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

Said Mahmood Danish, spokesman for Kunduz Governor Asadullah Omarkhel, told NBC News that Afghan special forces called in airstrikes to try to beat back the militants, and that 30 civilians were killed in the fighting, many of them children.

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Image: Map of KunduzA map showing the Afghan city of Kunduz. Google Maps

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