The Afghanistan Taliban claimed Saturday to have captured two U.S. soldiers near the country's capital, Kabul, Reuters reported.
NATO subsequently confirmed two missing soldiers were Americans but there were conflicting reports Saturday afternoon about their fate.
The alleged capture came to light after U.S. officials had apparently issued an appeal via a local radio station, offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the soldiers' safe release.
The broadcast said the two U.S. personnel were last seen wearing standard U.S. military camouflage, Reuters said.
It reportedly said: "Early this morning two coalition personnel went missing. They are believed to have been captured by insurgents somewhere in Logar province.
"They may have been separated from one another or may be in the process of being moved to another location."
One of the missing soldiers was described as about six feet tall weighing 220 lb (100 kg) with blond hair and brown eyes.
The other was described as 190 lb (86 kg), bald with a thin mustache. Both men have tattoos, the broadcast said.
In the wake of the radio appeal there were conflicting reports about what had happened to the two servicemen and even who might have seized them.
Reuters said that a Taliban spokesman had told the news agency that three ISAF servicemen had been captured but one had died.
However, the mystery deepened when the AFP news agency reported that the Taliban had subsequently denied being responsible for their disappearance.
Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, the Taliban's spokesman for eastern Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid, said: "So far, we are not aware of it and cannot confirm this."
An unnamed military NATO military officical also told AFP that a vehicle had been recovered, adding that ISAF was receiving conflicting reports.
"Nobody has been found but there are reports that there may be a casualty and that the body has been removed from the scene," the official said.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force had earlier confirmed in a statement that two servicemen were missing
"Two International Security Assistance Force service members departed their compound in Kabul City in a vehicle and did not return.
"The unit dispatched vehicles and rotary-winged assets to search for them and their vehicle, and the search is ongoing. Details will be released as they become available," the statement said.
Also Saturday, four U.S. soldiers were killed in a Taliban-style bomb attack, NATO said, as the death toll of foreign soldiers in the Afghan war climbed closer to the 2,000 mark.
ISAF said the four died following an attack with an improvised explosive device, or IED, the main weapon deployed by the Taliban in their insurgency.
An ISAF spokeswomen confirmed the four were Americans.
The incident took place in southern Afghanistan, where the war is at its fiercest, an ISAF statement said.
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May Almighty God watch over and protect these two soldiers.
May God comfort the anxious hearts of their families who love them so.