The Associated Press quoted a regional intelligence chief as saying four people on two motorcycles opened fire on the four-vehicle convoy before speeding off. Three Afghan soldiers were also reportedly wounded in the attack.
Army spokesman Col. Roger King said the U.S. servicemen were among fewer than 20 people in the convoy.
“They drove into a kill zone,” King told the AP.
Dad Mohammed Khan, the intelligence chief of Helmand region west of the city of Khandahar, said he suspected the attack was carried out by fighters of the former Taliban regime ousted by a U.S.-led coalition in late 2001.
“Two U.S. Special Forces were killed and one wounded when their four vehicle-mounted reconnaissance patrol was ambushed in the vicinity of Geresk,” the U.S. military said in a statement. Geresk is approximately 70 miles west of Khandahar.
According to Khan, the Americans had been inspecting a school and hospital being built with American funds.
The ambush comes roughly a week after the nearly 1000 U.S. troops launch a sweeping campaign to search mountain caves and villages for Taliban and those associated with the al-Qaida terrorist campaign.
American B-52 bombers and helicopters bombed areas in southern Afghanistan those groups are thought to be hiding. The operation has reportedly resulted in the arrest of several people and the confiscation of large caches of weapons and ammunition.
The deaths bring to 18 the number of combat casualties suffered by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.