In a small town outside Moscow, two Russian soldiers have died after being wounded in a clash between US and Russian forces.

The Russian military said the soldiers were killed when they opened fire during an assault on an outpost of the US Army in the town of Gorno-Badakhshan, near the border with Belarus.

The troops, one of whom was a sergeant, were killed by “unknown” forces.

An official at the region’s military command told the Interfax news agency the soldiers’ deaths were caused by “a military-related accident”.

The incident took place in the middle of the night on Saturday, when a US patrol was on patrol in the area.

The Americans were in the vicinity of a village that was used as a base for US forces to hold back Russian-backed separatists in the region, where the conflict has been ongoing since the end of the Cold War.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.