A roadside bomb has killed three policemen in southern Afghanistan and an artillery attack by Afghan and NATO forces has killed five suspected Taleban insurgents.

The three policemen were traveling on the main highway linking Murja and Lashkar Gah districts in Helmand province when they were killed.

Local officials in the same province say five militants were killed in Musa Qala district on Sunday. This is in addition to some 71 militants who were slain in Kandahar province by NATO-backed fighting that began late Saturday and spilled into Sunday.

Elsewhere, Britain's Defense Ministry says a British soldier was killed and three others wounded during a clash with hostile forces in Helmand province on Sunday.

Violence has escalated in recent weeks after NATO forces moved to southern Afghanistan to destroy suspected Taleban hideouts.

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