Afghan and NATO forces, backed by helicopter gunships, moved into villages outside Kandahar on Wednesday, killing at least 36 suspected Taliban fighters as part of an assault on insurgents holed up in the valley in southern Afghanistan.

The international community pledged more than $15 billion in aid to Afghanistan at a donors' conference in Paris Thursday, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai promised to fight corruption that has hindered past aid efforts.

Pakistan's army said Wednesday that a U.S.-led coalition airstrike along the volatile Afghan-Pakistan border killed 11 of its paramilitary troops, condemning it as an act of aggression that "hit at the very basis of cooperation" on the war on terror.