Sixteen civilians and 13 Taliban fighters were killed in a NATO and Afghan air and ground assault on a rebel camp in southern Afghanistan, police said on Friday.
The military strike, in the southern province of Helmand on Thursday, also left five civilians wounded and several houses damaged, provincial police chief Mohammad Nabi Mullahkhail told the agency.
The Taliban had been holding the civilians in the compound in the Garmser district, he said.
The wounded, which included women and children, were taken to a hospital in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah for treatment.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) could not immediately be reached for comment.
Most of the British deployment of about 5,200 troops in Afghanistan is based in Helmand, which last year saw some of the most intense fighting in an insurgency launched by the Taliban after they were removed from government in late 2001.
Rights groups have expressed concern about the number of civilian casualties in the insurgency. Human Rights Watch said more than 1,000 civilians were killed in the violence last year, in military action and insurgent attacks.
ISAF announced on Thursday that its forces, working with the Afghan army, had killed up to 150 insurgents in the eastern province of Paktika, who had been tracked crossing over from Pakistan.