KABUL, Afghanistan – American and British warplanes pounded a southern Afghan mountain, killing suspected Taliban rebels, the U.S. military said Wednesday. A provincial governor said at least six rebels were killed and four wounded.
Fighting erupted after militants attacked a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol in Uruzgan province's Dihrawud district late Monday, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara said. An Afghan soldier was wounded before the rebels fled, he said.
The troops then called for air support and warplanes bombed a mountainous area where the militants were believed to be hiding, he said.
A military statement said U.S. A-10 aircraft and British GR-7s dropped several bombs on the region, as well as pounding it with rockets and cannon fire.
O'Hara said the attack "was successful with a number of enemy killed," but he said an exact evaluation of the number of casualties was ongoing.
Uruzgan Gov. Jan Mohammed Khan said investigators had been to the remote area and found the bodies of six suspected rebels. Four others were wounded and were being treated in a hospital.
Uruzgan has been the site of numerous attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces and rebel camps are believed to be hidden in mountains there.
The insurgents have stepped up assaults across southern and eastern regions this year, and nearly 1,500 people have been killed. The violence is the deadliest since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in late 2001 and has raised fears for this country's fledgling democracy.