KABUL (AFP) - Troops killed 34 Taliban rebels and seized 15 tonnes of drugs during an ongoing operation in southern Afghanistans insurgent stronghold of Helmand, the US military said Thursday. The joint Afghan and international action started Tuesday in Marja, about 40 kilometres from the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, the force said in an update released to media. A total of 34 militants have been killed, the statement said. The most recent enemy deaths were caused by a series of precision air strikes during heavy fighting in the area. The Afghan army had announced 25 deaths on Wednesday. The latest battle started when troops began to secure an area called Loy Cherah Bazaar, which the statement said was a militant stronghold and drugs-processing hub. They found at the bazaar two war rooms stocked with maps, communication equipment, Russian-made night vision goggles, US military vehicle parts and weapons, the statement said. The troops in the Marja operation had uncovered 15,000 kg of high-grade narcotics, including 14,750 kg of black tar opium, 11 kg of processed heroin and 30 kg of morphine. They also discovered a massive supply of products used to make heroin and 40 tonnes of explosive materials and drugs packed into drums for use in suicide car bombs, the statement said. Separately, the US-led coalition said seven militants were killed in an air strike that followed a gunbattle Wednesday in the central Ghazni province.