Militants fired mortar rounds at a military-escorted convoy of humanitarian supplies in Farah province yesterday, sparking clashes, explosions and an air strike by NATO forces helping fight a bloody Taliban insurgency here.
"The information we received from the ANA (Afghan National Army) is that in this clash seven ANA soldiers were killed and 12 were wounded," Farah governor Rohul Amin Amin told AFP.
"Around 40 to 50 Taliban were killed. Two American soldiers were killed. One ISAF vehicle was damaged," he said, referring to the NATO-led coalition, the International Security Assistance Force.
"NATO airplanes then bombed, and the information we have received was that the casualties were not significant from the airstrike. The Taliban who were killed were because of ground clashes with the ANA and ISAF."
The defence ministry said that "tens of terrorists" were killed in the incident, but added it had no reports of civilian casualties.
The attacks come as Afghanistan faces its worst violence in the eight-year war following the ouster of the hardline Taliban regime in late 2001, and amid political turmoil following fraud-tainted presidential elections last month.