Afghan officials say at least eight Afghan policemen and several suspected Taliban insurgents were killed during an operation by U.S.-led coalition forces in Ghazni province Thursday.

U.S. military officials confirmed the attack in a village outside Ghazni town, southwest of Kabul.  They say several insurgents were killed when ground troops called in an air strike after coming under fire.

Military officials say they were checking reports of police casualties.

Separately, one NATO soldier was killed and two others wounded when a roadside blast struck their patrol in southern Afghanistan Thursday.  NATO did not disclose the nationalities of the soldiers, or the site of the attack.

U.S. and NATO-led forces depend on air strikes in their fight against Taliban and other militants throughout Afghanistan.

In the past, air strikes have resulted in civilian casualties and property damage, prompting Afghan President Hamid Karzai to urge caution and more coordination with Afghan authorities.

U.S. and NATO officials accuse militants of using civilians as human shields. 


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