GHAZNI - Forty Taliban were killed in airstrike to take back a district of Afghanistan captured by the group while a British soldier was killed in a separate clash, officials said Friday. Afghan and Nato-led ground forces supported by international military air support launched an offensive on Wednesday to retake Ajristan, 200km southwest of Kabul, after rebels stormed in Monday. "Over 40 Taliban fighters were killed and 30 were wounded in a Thursday night coalition airstrike in Ajristan district," Ghazni province spokesman Ismail Jahangir told AFP as the operation continued Friday for a third day. The district governor, who fled after the Taliban captured the district, confirmed the airstrike casualties and said two civilians also died. "On top of 40 Taliban killed and 30 wounded, we have information that two civilians were also killed in the bombing," Rad Muhammad Waziri told AFP. International forces could not immediately confirm the airstrike. Fifteen militants were killed on the first day of the operation by joint Afghan and international forces, Jahangir said earlier. A British army dog handler and his explosives sniffer dog were killed Thursday in Helmand when they came under fire while on patrol, the Ministry of Defence in London said. Six other soldiers were also injured, although not seriously. Meanwhile, in the western province of Farah, a roadside bomb apparently intended to hit Afghan or Nato troops blew up a civilian vehicle and killed three people, said Akramudin Yawar, police commander for western Afghanistan. He blamed the attack on the Taliban. A Danish soldier serving with Nato-led forces in Afghanistan was killed and three others were wounded when their tank was damaged in a roadside blast, military officials said in Copenhagen on Friday.