More than 20 insurgents including Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters, have been killed by NATO and Afghan forces who have been ramping up operations in the east against a Taliban faction linked to al-Qaeda, the international coalition said on Saturday.
Separately, a NATO service member was killed on Saturday following an insurgent attack in the volatile south. NATO did not disclose the nationality of the service member or details about the death. The joint force operation began on Wednesday against dozens of insurgents holed up in a mountainous area of Zadran district of Paktia province. The operation focused on disrupting the Haqqani network's movement in an area used to stage attacks in the capital, Kabul, and along a highway that links Khost province and Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia. More than 20 insurgents have been killed, the coalition said.
Combined security forces also discovered and destroyed multiple explosive devices and bomb-making equipment, including trip wire and blasting caps, weapons and ammunition.