Afghan and U.S. troops backed by warplanes and attack helicopters have blasted Taleban hideouts in southern Afghanistan for a second day, killing more than 60 militants.
Afghan officials say seven Afghan soldiers and five Afghan policemen were also killed during the fierce fighting near the Pakistani border.
They say five U.S. soldiers and two Afghan police officers were wounded in a gunbattle that began late Tuesday in a region that straddles the southern provinces of Kandahar and Zabol. Some 30 insurgents were captured.
Meanwhile senior Afghan officials are urging neighboring Pakistan to crack down on militants hiding in its territory.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf spoke by telephone Tuesday and agreed to strengthen security cooperation between their countries.