At least 25 civilians, including 12 of one family, are killed in a Nato air assault.
Major Donald Korpi, an Isaf spokesman for eastern Afghanistan, said “up to 60 Taliban were killed”.
Thomas did not give a figure for the dead but did not dispute the toll, saying that such numbers were arrived at through various battle damage assessments.
Commanders in the area said it was the largest formation of Taliban fighters there since January, he added.
The attackers had initiated the battle by opening fire with machine guns, it said in a statement.
Several more fighters were reportedly killed in the adjoining province of Uruzgan when a firefight erupted after troops were shot at with multiple rockets.
|“Afghan and coalition forces were conducting an operation against militants and a few rockets came in our area. One of the rockets hit a house in which nine people were killed”
Major-General Waheed Arshad, Pakistan military spokesman
Meanwhile, the Afghan president condemned civilian casualties caused by “indiscriminate and unprecise” Nato and US-led operations.
He said at least 90 civilians had been killed in just over a week, including 52 people in a three-day operation in the southern Uruzgan province.
The Nato force said Karzai’s figure was similar to its own, but that it was not clear if they had been killed by the security forces or Taliban fighters.
Karzai said that he had repeatedly asked foreign forces “to avoid unnecessary and unuseful operations”.
“But unfortunately, despite our efforts, this has not been applied and our people have been killed and wounded.”