Four suspected militants have been killed and five others detained during an operation by the US-led coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, a military statement said on Sunday.
The military operation was carried out on Saturday targeting the Taliban's roadside bomb network in southern province of Zabul, the statement said.
The forces were searching for a Taliban militant believed to be coordinating roadside bomb attacks along Highway One in Qalat district of the province. But a group of insurgents attacked the troops forcing them to retaliate, the statement said.
"During the operation, coalition forces were engaged by multiple militants armed with AK-47s," it said. "The forces returned fire and killed four of them."
Spiralling conflicts and Taliban-related insurgency have claimed lives of more than 5,000 people, mostly militants, so far this year in the strife-torn country.