updated 1/7/2009 5:48:39 AM ET 2009-01-07T10:48:39

Forces from the U.S.-led coalition killed 32 armed insurgents during a clash in eastern Afghanistan, the military said Wednesday.

The insurgents were killed Tuesday in a firefight that broke out during a strike on a Taliban bomb-making cell in Laghman Province, the military said in a statement.

As many as 75 armed militants converged on the troops, shooting at them from rooftops and alleyways, the statement said. The 32 insurgents were killed when coalition troops returned fire.

The troops also destroyed two caches of weapons and roadside bomb-making materials that were too unstable to move to another location, the statement said.

The deputy governor of Laghman Province, Hadayut Qalanderzai, said he had reports that some civilians were either killed or injured in the blast when the caches were destroyed, but said he did not have figures or details.

The military statement said the troops moved nearby civilians to a safe location before detonating the weapons, and that secondary blasts from the unstable explosives destroyed the building they were housed in. Spokesman Col. Jerry O'Hara said in the statement that the forces "prevented any civilian casualties."

The clash happened in Alishang district, about 60 miles northeast of the capital of Kabul.

More on  Afghanistan   |  Taliban

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