They say four Afghan police officers were also killed and three suffered injuries in the battles in Panjwai district, to the southwest of Kandahar city on August 19. Three other officers were reported missing.
The Afghan authorities said NATO aircraft also participated in the battles.
In separate fighting in Kunar and Oruzgan provinces, four U.S. soldiers were killed during combat on August 19.
OPIUM FARMING ON THE RISE Despite a nationwide program by the Afghan government to eradicate opium-poppy fields and offer farmers alternative crops, international experts say that the 2006 opium crop will be as much as 40 percent larger than the previous year's. Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world, and the source of as much as 90 percent of Europe's heroin.(more)