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80 Taliban insurgents killed in Afghan clashes

Foreign forces in Afghanistan say they have killed around 80 insurgents in the past 24 hours, most of them in a strike on rebels preparing an attack near the Pakistan border.

world Updated: Jun 24, 2007 03:08 IST

Foreign forces in Afghanistan said on Saturday that they had killed around 80 insurgents in the past 24 hours, most of them in a strike on rebels preparing an attack near the Pakistan border.

A group of 45 men and several smaller ones of eight to 10 were spotted just inside the border later Friday preparing to attack a base in the Paktika province, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

"They were clearly armed and they were clearly hostile and that is why they were engaged," ISAF spokesman Major John Thomas said.

ISAF forces conducted reconnaissance to confirm their suspicions and the insurgents fired on a US-led coalition aircraft, Thomas said. Coalition forces then unleashed combined air and artillery strikes as the insurgents tried to escape across the border, he said.