A US soldier of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was detained on Sunday in connection with shooting dead at least 17 Afghan civilians in the southern province of Kandahar, officials said.

The incident took place on Sunday morning when a US soldier opened fire at four houses in Zangabad area of Panjwae district, killing the civilians and injuring five others, said Hajji Agha Lalai, a member of provincial council in the district.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News that local residents told him over telephone that the injured were rushed to the ISAF health facility in Kandahar.

However, Governor Toryalay Weesa said a US soldier opened fire on civilians this morning outside the ISAF base in Panjwae district.

The exact number of civilian casualties is yet to be confirmed but a delegation was sent to the area for further investigation.

Without mentioning the exact location of the incident, an ISAF statement said US force and Afghan authorities would jointly conduct a probe on the incident and later release more details of the shooting.

“This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved,” the statement added.