Afghan and U.S.-led international forces raided militant compounds in central Afghanistan overnight, killing several insurgents and one civilian.

Military officials said Wednesday a ricocheting bullet killed the civilian woman during a search operation in Ghazni province.

In the east, Afghan officials said Taliban insurgents killed eight policemen and captured eight others during an attack on a police post in Nuristan province.

Officials said 21 Taliban rebels were also killed in the battle.

Nuristan province lies on the border with Pakistan's tribal areas considered strongholds of Taliban insurgents.

Also Wednesday, British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth said the situation in Afghanistan is serious and not yet decided. During an address in London, the secretary said that success in Afghanistan will be achieved incrementally.

Ainsworth's speech came as the defense ministry announced a British soldier was killed Tuesday night during an explosion in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.

A U.S. soldier was reported killed in western Farah province.


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