Up to 23 suspected militants were killed in a series of operations by Afghan and foreign troops in Afghanistan, officials said, as a senior sports official was found dead.
The body of Alikhail, the head of sports for the eastern province of Paktika who went by only one name, was found dumped by the side of the road yesterday, a day after he was kidnapped by Taliban rebels, a provincial official said.
"The Taliban killed him," the official, who asked not to be identified, told AFP.
The insurgents -- in government between 1996 and 2001 -- regularly target officials of the new administration in their violent campaign.
In a raid against the rebels in the central province of Ghazni, US-led troops killed two militants late Friday, the force said, although local government said six had died.
The men were killed after they were seen manoeuvring on the force as they searched a compound for a militant leader responsible for roadside bomb attacks, the force said in a statement.
Yesterday, dozens of villagers carrying the corpses of two men marched to the governor's house, claiming the casualties were civilians, local government spokesman Ismail Jahangir told AFP.
"The coalition forces, without discussing with us, conducted an operation against Taliban in Ander district. We've no idea who the casualties were. We're investigating to find out whether they were Taliban or civilians," he said.
"Villagers are saying that two civilians were killed in that operation," the spokesman said.
In a separate incident, the force killed three militants in the eastern province of Kunar, it said.
A dozen other militants including two rebel commanders were killed in separate raids by Afghan intelligence agents and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in the southern province of Kandahar, an official said.