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BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AP) _ A U.S. special forces soldier was killed while on patrol in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday after his unit came under heavy fire, a U.S. military spokesman said.

There were no other reported coalition casualties in the firefight, which started when enemy forces engaged U.S. forces with at least small arms fire at approximately 5 p.m. local time, said Steven O'Connor, a U.S. military spokesman at Bagram air base.

The name of the service member was being withheld pending next of kin notification.

It was unclear whether there were any casualties among enemy forces.

Small teams of U.S. special forces soldiers are operating throughout eastern Afghanistan, monitoring potential movements by al-Qaida.