About 70 Taliban fighters were killed in an overnight air strike by foreign forces in the southern Afghan province of Helmand near the Pakistan border, the provincial governor said on Wednesday.
The attack took place late on Tuesday in Helmand’s Baram Cha district. Violence in Afghanistan is running at its highest rate since the US-led invasion to wrest control from the militant Islamist Taliban movement in 2001.
“Most of these Taliban (killed) are foreign fighters who entered Afghanistan to destabilise the country,” governor Dawood Ahmadi told Reuters in Kandahar.
NATO and the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan said they had no immediate information about the air strike.
Provincial authorities said earlier on Wednesday that another 22 Taliban insurgents and six Afghan policemen were killed in overnight clashes in the south.
Dozens of Taliban fighters attacked Lashkar Gah in Helmand, about 550 km southwest of the capital Kabul. Eighteen insurgents were killed during a four-hour gun battle, said provincial police chief Asadullah Sherzad.
In another incident, gunmen killed six Afghan policemen at their checkpost in the same district, a spokesman for Ahmadi said.