A total of 87 Taliban fighters were killed during a 14-hour battle with US-led troops and Afghan forces on Sunday, the US military said.

Joint coalition

Another 49 Taliban, including two of their leaders, were killed two days earlier after a group of Taliban fired at a joint coalition and Afghan patrol in another part of the valley, it said.

The statement did not identify the Taliban leaders.

It said one US soldier was killed, but did not say if there were any casualties among the Afghan forces.

The Taliban could not be contacted immediately for comment and there was no independent verification of the reported Taliban losses.

Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans staged a protest on Monday accusing US-led coalition and Afghan troops of killing civilians in Herat.

The protesters stormed a government district headquarters in Shindand, south of Herat city.

Police reinforcements were sent in from Herat to contain the incident and gunfire was heard, but it was not immediately clear who was firing and if there were casualties.

Provincial officials refused to comment.