Americans are among 10 people killed by militants in an ambush in a remote, forested area of Badakhshan province in northern Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said on Saturday.

"We have reason to believe that several American citizens are among the deceased," said Caitlin Hayden, an embassy spokeswoman. "We cannot confirm any details at this point, but are actively working with local authorities and others to learn more about the identities and nationalities of these individuals."

Provincial police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kemtuz said the victims, who had been shot, were found next to three bullet-riddled four-wheeled drive vehicles in Kuran Wa Munjan district.

He said two Afghan men were found dead along with eight foreigners, three women and five men. Two of the foreigners were Americans, he said.

Mr.Police escape Maoist ambush in Dantewada Kemtuz said a third Afghan man, who had been travelling with the group, survived.

"He told me he was shouting and reciting the holy Quran and saying "I am Muslim. Don't kill me,"" Mr. Kemtuz said.

Mr. Kemtuz said the survivor told him that the group, which had been travelling in Panjshir, Nuristan and Badakhshan provinces, was surrounded by gunmen and then attacked. Mr. Kemtuz speculated that robbery could have been a motive in the killings.

"We couldn't find any passports or anything," he said. "Nothing was left behind."

Villagers reported seeing foreigners travelling in four-wheeled drive vehicles in the area about 15 days ago, Mr. Kemtuz said. About two days ago, villagers told police that they saw the vehicles abandoned and search crews were sent to the area to investigate, he said.

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