Hundreds of Canadian and Afghan soldiers raided Taliban strongholds scattered through southern orchards Sunday, sparking fighting that killed at least 15 militants and one Canadian.

Another two Canadian soldiers were wounded in Kandahar province's Zharew district, the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in an ongoing anti-Taliban offensive being waged across southern Afghanistan.

CountryWatch: Afghanistan

Canadian Cpl. Anthony Boneca was killed in the Pasmhol village in Zharew during a "combined coalition-Afghan operation" against the Taliban, said military spokesman Maj. Marc Theriault.

Several hours later, "intense close quarters" fighting broke out nearby, leaving at least five Taliban militants dead and two Canadian soldiers slightly wounded, said another coalition official, Lt. Cdr. Mark MacIntyre.

A coalition airstrike killed another 10 militants in the neighboring Panjwayi district, where Canadian troops launched a massive campaign against Taliban strongholds on Saturday, according to a military statement. Two Canadians were also wounded there on Saturday.