Militants 'killed in Afghanistan'
Preventing civilian deaths has become a key issue in the Afghan conflict
Afghan and coalition forces have killed 23 militants in the south of the country, an Afghan general says.
Among the dead was a local Taliban commander in Uruzgan province, said Gen Sher Mohammad Zazai.
He said the action was part of an operation to dislodge militants ahead of presidential elections this August.
UK forces have just concluded a major operation against Taliban positions in neighbouring Helmand province, said to be a stronghold of the insurgency.
The operation comes as thousands of extra US forces are deployed to southern Afghanistan.
US officials say they expect an upsurge in the violence during the summer months, our correspondent says.
The latest round of assaults on Taliban positions comes after the appointment of US Gen Stanley McChrystal as the new commander of US and Nato-led troops in Afghanistan.
He is expected to announce new measures aimed at reducing the number of civilian casualties in the conflict there, such as withdrawing from clashes with militants who may be close to civilians, provided they can do so safely.
The Afghan government has repeatedly called for measures to reduce the number of civilian casualties.
A recent US defence department report admitted at least 26 Afghan civilians were killed by a series of controversial air strikes in Farah province last month that angered the Afghan authorities.
The Pentagon acknowledged that even more people may have been killed. Afghanistan said more than 140 people died.
There are about 90,000 foreign troops - mostly from the US - stationed in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and train Afghan forces.