The military says the rebels were killed during an operation in a remote part of southeastern Pakitka province, bordering Pakistan.
The attack was part of an offensive that began Wednesday in the region. The offensive, Operation Mountain Thrust, is the largest since U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 to oust the Taleban.
Some 10,000 Afghan and coalition troops are targeting the Taleban's traditional stronghold in four southern provinces - Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabol.
Earlier Thursday, the Taleban claimed responsibility for a bomb blast on a bus in the southern city of Kandahar that killed at least eight people and wounded at least 15 others.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP