Afghan police say at least 40 Taleban militants have been killed during an operation by NATO and Afghan forces in southern Helmand province.
Two separate battles took place in Gereshk district. A police chief in the region said three Afghan policemen died during the fighting and five others were wounded. At least eight Taleban fighters were captured.
Helmand province has seen heavy fighting between NATO and Taleban forces. The region is Afghanistan's top opium producer and has been plagued by attacks by Taleban and foreign militants. NATO launched Operation Achilles in Helmand last month in an effort to preempt an anticipated spring offensive by Taleban fighters.
Last year, a resurgent Taleban movement carried out the highest number of suicide bombings and other attacks in Afghanistan since the Taleban government was ousted by U.S.-led forces in 2001.
Some information for this report provided by AFP.