Reuters International

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. forces attempted to rescue two civilian hostages in Afghanistan last month, but the captives were not at the location and no U.S. personnel or civilians were harmed in the attempt, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

"In August, at the recommendation of Secretary Carter, President Obama authorized U.S. forces to conduct a mission in Afghanistan, aimed at recovering two civilian hostages," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, the hostages were not at the location we suspected," Cook said.

He added that U.S. forces "engaged and killed a number of hostile forces."

The identities of the hostages were not disclosed.

In early August, two faculty members of the American University of Afghanistan, one American and one Australian, were abducted at gunpoint from a road near the university in Kabul.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington and Phil Stewart in Oslo; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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