The Dutch military chief says his forces in Afghanistan have killed 18 suspected militants during a special operation in the southern province of Uruzgan.

He said there were no Dutch casualties in the fighting which occurred after militants set up positions in the hills overlooking a Dutch camp.

Separately, the U.S. military said a coalition soldier was killed following a rocket and mortar attack late Thursday by militants on a coalition compound in southeastern Afghanistan.

The soldier, whose nationality was not released, died before he could be medically evacuated from the base in Paktika province.

Meanwhile, NATO chiefs who are visiting Afghanistan toured volatile areas of southern Afghanistan Friday and vowed they are ready to take on resurgent Taleban. NATO peacekeeping troops will take over security command from the U.S.-led coalition in the southern provinces at the end of July.

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