KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. and Afghan troops patrolling the rugged border with Pakistan (search) killed at least 10 suspected Taliban (search) who ambushed them with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, Afghan officials said Monday.
The officials gave contradicting accounts of the clash, with a provincial governor saying 22 Taliban were killed after airstrikes were called in by the American and Afghan soldiers.
However, Gen. Atiqullah Luddin (search), a regional military commander based in nearby Logar province, said his men were involved in the Sunday patrol and only 10 Taliban were killed and no airstrikes were involved. Two other suspected Taliban fighters were arrested, he said.
Both officials said two Afghan soldiers were wounded in the fighting.
Mohammed Ali Jalali, governor of Paktika province, said the Americans and Afghans were in Barmal district, about a mile from the Pakistan border, when they were attacked by rebels using rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and Kalashnikov rifles.
The troops called in airstrikes, he said, and a wave of heavy bombardment hit the unpopulated area near the village of Shkin, 135 miles south of Kabul.
Taliban and Al Qaeda rebels have been launching increasingly bold assaults in recent months, raiding police stations, killing aid workers and confronting U.S. troops.