KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. helicopter (search) gunships and fighter jets pounded a house in eastern Afghanistan (search) at dawn Saturday after rebels ambushed a U.S.-led convoy, killing one Afghan soldier and wounding an American, an Afghan official said.
In the ambush late Friday, rebels fired rockets at the coalition convoy near Lalmi, about three miles from the city of Khost (search), said Hayatullah Taniwal, spokesman for Khost Gov. Hakim Taniwal.
Soldiers scrambled and returned fire. The Afghan soldier was killed and the American wounded in the exchange, Taniwal said.
He did not know the condition of the American soldier and there was no immediate comment from the U.S. military's Afghan headquarters in Bagram, north of the Afghan capital, Kabul (search).
"We only know that he was wounded," Taniwal said. "The fighting we were told was fierce."
The coalition forces and their Afghan allies chased the rebels to a house in Lalmi, he said. Throughout the night they prevented anyone from leaving, and as dawn broke helicopter gunships and fighter jets attacked the rebel location.
"There was a vehicle inside the compound and it must have been packed with ammunition, because there were many loud explosions from inside," Taniwal said. "The building and everything in it was completely destroyed."
It was not known how many rebels were killed or inside the building.
U.S. coalition forces are hunting for fugitive Taliban and Al Qaeda members in eastern and southern Afghanistan. Attacks are frequently carried out by rebel forces, who flee across the border into tribal regions of Pakistan or into local villages.