Authorities in Afghanistan say Afghan and foreign troops have clashed with Taliban fighters in two southern provinces, leaving more than 30 insurgents dead.

An official, Ghulam Jailani, in Zabul province said troops killed 22 militants there on Tuesday.  He said seven of those killed were Arabs.  In Helmand province, authorities said another 10 insurgents died in fighting late Tuesday.

The Australian Defense Ministry says nine Australian troops in Uruzgan province were wounded after insurgents ambushed them Wednesday.  One soldier is reported to have life-threatening injuries.

The ministry says the troops were part of an operation to disrupt Taliban command and control networks.

Muslim groups are accusing Australian troops in Afghanistan of mistreating Taliban captives by holding them in dog pens.  Four suspected insurgents were captured in late April and held for a day in such pens.

Australia's defense minister says the prisoners were well-treated, in compliance with international law.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.