Washington: The names of 30 US soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week would be released soon, the Pentagon has said.

Pentagon spokesman, Marine Corps Col Dave Lapan said US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta never intended not to release the names.

The release is expected by noon (local Washington time) on Thursday, he said.

"Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the incident including the high number of special operations forces who were killed, the Secretary of Defense decided to honour requests by senior commanders for additional time to fully review the possible implications of the release for the victims and their families," Lapan said.

This was the apparent reason for delay in the release of the names of those US soldiers killed in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6.

Lapan said the Department of Defense abides by current (and long-standing) policy and law, in which it releases the information on all combat casualties (both hostile, and non-hostile, supporting Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn) no earlier than 24 hours after the next of kin have been notified.

Names of service members killed outside of those operations are also released, but at the unit or service level, not in a Pentagon news release, he clarified.

(Agencies)