U.S. forces in Afghanistan are investigating a series of airstrikes last week that some locals say killed more than one dozen civilians.

Defense Department spokesman Lieutenant Colonel James B. Brindle said an investigation is underway.

Initial reports said an airstrike near the town of Nematabad killed a local elder, Hajji Rozuddin, and his bodyguards. Two later strikes killed people who came to collect the bodies.

A former senator from Afghanistan’s Gomal District, Hajji Muhammad Hasan, told The New York Times that Rozuddin “was strongly anti-Taliban - he carried bodyguards because the Taliban were trying to kill him.”

VOA National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.