Afghan security forces killed 25 suspected insurgents during a clash in southern Afghanstan on Wednesday, while a suicide bombing targeting a NATO convoy wounded one civilian, officials said.
Insurgents attacked an Afghan police checkpoint in southern Helmand province's Garmser district, the NATO-led force said in a statement. In the ensuing clash, "at least 25 insurgents" were killed, NATO said.
The suicide attack in neighbouring Kandahar province wounded a civilian and damaged a military vehicle, said police official Abdul Ali Khan.
The violence came hours before Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Gen Pervez Musharraf were set to join US President George W Bush for dinner at the White House on Wednesday.
The two central Asian presidents have been at odds recently over each country's efforts to hunt terrorists and to stop them from crossing their shared border, especially in tribal areas, and wage attacks in Afghanistan.
Southern Afghanistan is bearing the brunt of clashes and suicide bombings, the worst outbreak of violence since the US-led invasion ousted the Taliban-led regime from power. Militants have increasingly resorted to the use of roadside and suicide bombings against foreign and Afghan government forces.
A suicide bomber killed 18 people outside a provincial governor's compound in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Tuesday and a bomb attack on a NATO patrol just outside Kabul killed an Italian soldier and a child.