Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump received withering criticism Sunday in response to his criticism of a speech by the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in Iraq.

Khizr Khan spoke Thursday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton accepted the left-leaning party's presidential nomination.

Khan, with his wife, Ghazala, at his side, spoke at the nationally televised convention about their son Humayun Khan, a US Army captain who died defending his base from a car bomber in 2004 in Baquba, Iraq.

Khan, a Pakistani immigrant and lawyer, criticized Trump's statement during the presidential campaign that Muslims should not be allowed into the United States.

"Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities," he said, addressing Trump. "You have sacrificed nothing and no one."

In an ABC News interview on the weekend, Trump suggested that "Hillary's script writers" might have written Khan's speech.

"I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs," the real estate magnate said, describing how his efforts to help and honour military veterans.

Trump noted that Ghazala Khan "had nothing to say. She probably, maybe, she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me."

In an opinion piece published Sunday in the Washington Post, she wrote about her unending pain over the death of her son.

"Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do. My son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died 12 years ago in Iraq. He loved America, where we moved when he was 2 years old," she wrote.

"Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn't allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not."

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