KABUL (AFP) - US-led coalition forces Saturday said they killed 15 armed militants in eastern Afghanistan, but local legislators say the casualties were civilians including women and children. The forces said they launched an operation in Mehtarlam, the capital of Laghman province, on Friday, targetting a Taliban commander believed to conduct 'terrorist activities' in the capital Kabul, and Laghman and Kapisa provinces. "Coalition forces killed 15 armed militants and detained one suspected militant during an operation to disrupt the Taliban's terrorist network in Laghman province," a coalition press statement said. But provincial council member Gulzar Sangarwal said 22 civilians including women and children were killed in the foreign forces airstrikes. The head of the provincial council, Emadudin Abdulrahimzay, said 21 people were killed and their bodies found at different locations. "They were all civilians including two women and two children," he said. Sayed Ahmad Safi, the spokesman for the provincial governor, confirmed the incident but gave another toll. "Our initial findings show that nine people were killed including civilians. We don't know at this stage how many of them were civilians," he said. The US forces said they targeted a Taliban commander known to traffic foreign fighters and weapons into the region to attack coalition forces, including a deadly assault on French troops in August 2008. "As coalition forces approached the wanted militant's compound, several groups of armed militants exited their homes and began manoeuvring on the force," said the statement. "Armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, the militants engaged coalition forces from multiple directions," it said, adding one of the killed militants was a woman. "She was killed while manoeuvring on coalition forces and was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade," the statement said.