updated 3/13/2008 5:05:00 AM ET 2008-03-13T09:05:00

Afghan and international forces have killed 41 Taliban militants in a battle in southern Afghanistan, according to a provincial governor.

Nimroz Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad said the insurgents were traveling Wednesday through neighboring Helmand province when the joint forces attacked them.

Azad says the troops employed airstrikes during the four-hour battle in Helmand province, killing 41 militants.

He says 17 of the dead were from Nimroz, including a commander named Mullah Tor Jan. Their bodies have been transferred to the province.

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