Afghan and US-led coalition forces killed more than 20 Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan, the military said Thursday, dpa reported
The combined forces were deployed to Zadran district in the south-eastern province of Paktia as part of an operation to disrupt the activity of the insurgent Haqqani network in the region, NATO said in a statement.
The troops were attacked by dozens of militants using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, it said, adding, "an air weapons team suppressed the enemy resulting in more than 20 insurgents killed so far."
The Haqqani group, headed by Sarajuddin Haqqani, believed to have links with the Taliban, is mainly active in eastern provinces along the border with Pakistan. The group's headquarters is said to be based inside the tribal areas of Pakistan.
"The Haqqani network is a prevalent insurgent threat in Afghanistan right now," said senior NATO official Rafael Torres. "Afghan and coalition forces are focused on smothering their influence and power."
It was not clear whether there were any casualties among the combined forces.
More than 140,000 NATO-led troops, including nearly 100,000 US personnel, are currently based in Afghanistan. Most of the troops deployed to the eastern region are from the US military.