The alliance said on Saturday that several Taliban compounds were destroyed and more than 30 fighters were killed in the past 12 hours.

Nato and Afghan forces suffered no casualties, it was said.

A weeklong offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar province's Panjwayi district has killed at least 320 suspected militants.

Reporters cannot access the scene of the battle, so it was not immediately possible to verify the death toll.

Major Scott Lundy, a Nato spokesman, said the casualty count was based on reports from troops viewing the battlefield through weapons sights and other devices.

On Friday, Nato said it had killed another 20 to 30 Taliban in air strikes and artillery barrages.

Denial

A top Taliban commander and a spokesman for the militia have strongly disputed Nato's claims, saying the alliance should show the bodies of those reported killed to the media as proof.

Some 20,000 Nato soldiers and a similar number of US forces are trying to crush the emboldened Taliban.

The heaviest fighting is taking place across vast desert plains in southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, also the centre of the country's massive opium trade.