KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — NATO-led and Afghan troops clashed with Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan on Friday, leaving 10 suspected militants dead, an Afghan army officer said.

A NATO soldier and and Afghan army soldier were wounded in a second straight day of clashes in the Gereshk district of Helmand province. On Thursday, 20 other suspected militants were killed in fighting with NATO and Afghan forces, Maj. Gen. Muhiddin Ghori of the Afghan National Army said.

In the southern Zabul province, militants attacked a police patrol on the main highway to Kabul, wounding two officers Thursday, Ghulam Jailani, a highway police commander in Zabul, said.

USS John C. Stennis leaves Gulf regionThe USS John C. Stennis has left the U.S. Central Command theater of operations, leaving only one aircraft carrier in the region, a Defense official said Friday.

The USS Nimitz remains in the area of operations. It is slated to be replaced by the USS Enterprise, which is under way and expected in the region by the end of the month, the official said.

Since the fall, the Navy has had two carriers in the region, a move that observers said was meant to send a message to the Iranian government.

Another aircraft carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman, is expected to arrive in the CENTCOM theater of operations this fall.

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