Taleban clash 'leaves many dead'
Helmand's deputy governor told the BBC that at one point, he and 100 soldiers were surrounded by 200 Taleban.
He said 16 Taleban and three soldiers had been killed, with 13 more wounded.
The BBC's Paul Wood in Kandahar said it is the most serious fighting between government forces and the Taleban for two years.
Taleban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf denied reports of Taleban deaths, saying only two fighters had been wounded.