'Fighters killed'

In the southern Uruzgan province, a US air strike killed 15 fighters on Wednesday, including a Taliban commander, another statement said.

The men were killed near a riverbed in Deh Rawood district, away from local villages, it said.

Three other men were killed inside a cave in the Bala Buluk district of Farah, a western province, during a raid on Wednesday by US and Afghan troops, the US military said.

In Kandahar, meanwhile, a bomb placed on a donkey hit a police vehicle patrolling west of the provincial capital on Thursday, killing an officer and wounding two other people, Sadullah Khan, a police officer, said.