"All coalition forces survived the engagement, it is estimated multiple militants were killed during the fighting," a US military statement said.

However, a US military official said that the claims that security guards were among the dead were being investigated.

Bombardments

The latest air raids come just days after the Afghan government said an attack by US-led forces killed nine Afghan soldiers in the southeastern province of Khost.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in operations by Nato and US-led international forces this year, according to Afghan officials and aid groups.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Kabul, said that such an attack had created "an anti-American, anti-British sentiment in the country".

"During the last few weeks and months there have been bombardments in Khost, Herat and Helmand, where there were civilian casualties," he said.

"The Americans are saying constantly that they are very shrewd, very meticulous when it comes to bombarding such sites ... but the people say they have seen many, many cases where the targets were not Taliban fighters."

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Afghanistan was told by a Taliban spokesman that 17 people working on a road construction project had been abducted in the eastern province of Kunar.

The Taliban has reportedly said that it will only free the captives once the construction project, which is funded by the US, is abandoned.

Taliban fighters have picked up there attacks in recent months and the United Nations has warned people not to expect the usual lull in violence over the winter months.