By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - Military authorities are investigating several soldiers at the U.S. Army post at Fort Carson in southern Colorado over accusations of sexual misconduct with underage girls, base officials said on Wednesday.
A statement released by Fort Carson said commanders are aware of the probe, but offered few details, citing an ongoing probe into the matter. The base did not identify the soldiers involved.
"We assure the community that the Army is taking this situation very seriously," the statement said.
The allegations are the latest in a series of sexual abuse cases that have rocked the U.S. military in recent years.
A study released by the Pentagon in May said reports of unwanted sexual contact in the armed forces - ranging from groping to rape - jumped from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 the following year.
Lieutenant Jeff Kramer, spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, said his agency has no involvement with the Fort Carson criminal probe.
Fort Carson is home to the 4th Infantry Division, among other units.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Lisa Shumaker)