At least 60 suspected Taliban insurgents have been killed in a joint operation launched by forces of Afghanistan and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) over the weekend, said an Afghan army general.
Twenty militants were killed when Afghan army soldiers clashed with a group of militants who had gathered in a compound to attack an army base in Bermal district in Paktia province late Saturday, said General Murad Ali, the commander of Afghan army forces in the province.
After some two hours of fighting, NATO air support was called in and the compound was bombed, leaving at least 40 militants dead, he said.
He said some militants were Arabs and Pakistanis. Eight bodies of Pakistani militants were handed over to tribal leaders on the Pakistani side of the border.
Afghanistan and Pakistan share a porous border that is about 2,500 km long.
Eight Afghan soldiers were wounded in the clash, the general said.
Some 3,000 people, mostly militants, have been reported killed in the Taliban-led insurgency and operations by foreign forces this year.