The clashes took place in the province’s Dangam district.
Four Afghan troops were also killed and 11 others were injured, provincial police chief Abdul Habib Sayed Kheli said. Kheli said militants also beheaded two tribal elders in the area.
Nearly 1,000 Afghan and foreign militants launched an attack on Dangam district allegedly to punish locals in the area for rising up against them. Around 40 houses were also set ablaze in the area, Kheli added.
Fresh fighting flared up between Afghan troops and hundreds of Taliban fighters over the last ten days when security forces arrived at the scene to ease pressure on the locals in the district. The main battle in the area was now over as international forces pounded militant posts and hideouts in airstrikes, however, sporadic fighting was still continuing.
“The anti-insurgent operation in the district coordinated with airstrikes of international coalition force had a positive impact on the operation that could guarantee success of the Afghan forces”, said Khili.
However, analysts said Afghan troops could not rely on foreign support forever.
“Afghan forces cannot rely on the U.S. and NATO`s air support forever. They should be equipped with advanced fighter jets and other necessary instruments to stand on their own feet and fight local and foreign enemies,” military analyst General Mohammad Ali said.
The Taliban, meanwhile, rejected all government claims that it beheaded two local elders and torched 40 houses in the district.
Afghan Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban instead blew up dozens of army checkpoints and inflicted heavy casualties on the Afghan security forces in the area.