Afghan and coalition forces killed 23 suspected Taliban fighters in a clash in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan army general said Wednesday.

The authorities recovered the bodies and the militants' weapons after the fighting Tuesday near Tirin Kot, the capital of southern Uruzgan province, said Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, an army officer in charge of southern Afghanistan.

A known Taliban commander in the region, Mullah Ismail, was killed during the clash, which took place in a mountainous area, Zazai said.

Southern Afghanistan is the center of the Taliban-led insurgency, which has made a violent comeback in the last three years. Thousands of new U.S. troops have been pouring into the region to reverse the Taliban gains.