The U.S. military in Afghanistan says U.S. and Afghan forces have killed three suspected militants and arrested 15 others during a clash in central Uruzgan province.

A military statement says the joint patrol came under small-arms fire early Thursday, prompting a gunbattle and air strikes by U.S.-led coalition aircraft. Two Afghan soldiers suffered minor injuries.

A U.S. military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry O'Hara, said the incident occurred in the area where a road is being built for the Afghan people.

On Wednesday, a Chinook helicopter was destroyed by a fire that broke out as it made "a hard landing" during an anti-insurgent operation near the town of Spin Boldak, on the Pakistani border.

The military says there were no casualties among six crew members and 25 Afghan troops on board, and hostile fire was not involved.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.