The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan says two coalition soldiers and about 45 insurgents were killed during a battle in southern Kandahar province.
A statement says the two soldiers were wounded in an assault on a rebel stronghold in the Panjwayi district, and later died of their injuries.
The Afghan commanding general for the region (Rahmatullah Roufi) says the battle began late Saturday and lasted several hours.
In northeastern Nuristan province, Taleban insurgents abducted five Afghan health workers, including two doctors.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said remnants of the ousted Taleban regime pose no threat to his government.
He told CNN television that Taleban fighters carry out attacks on schools, clergy and road workers in the country, but said they are no match for Afghan military forces.
Mr. Karzai also criticized fugitive Taleban leader Mullah Omar for remaining in hiding while calling for attacks on the Afghan government.
Pakistani (Geo) television Sunday aired a purported audio recording of the Taleban leader who claimed that militants held large parts of the country. But a source claiming to be a Taleban spokesman said the tape was not authentic.
More than 10-thousand troops are involved in a sweep of southern Afghanistan aimed at reversing a sharp rise in insurgent activity. More than 100 militants have been killed in the past two days.