'Up to 70 Taliban dead as Afghan attack thwarted'
Up to 70 Taliban fighters were killed after trying to attack a foreign troop base in eastern Afghanistan, a local official said today.world Updated: Nov 09, 2011 13:48 IST
Up to 70 Taliban fighters were killed after trying to attack a foreign troop base in eastern Afghanistan, a local official said on Wednesday.
The attempted assault happened late Tuesday at a combat outpost in Paktika province bordering Pakistan where militants have hideouts.
Mokhlis Afghan, a spokesman for the governor of Paktika, said the attackers were likely to have come from the other side of the border.
"In a joint ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and Afghan operation last night in Barmal district, between 60 and 70 Taliban militants were killed," he said.
"Initial reports show that this big group of militants wanted to attack a joint Afghan-ISAF base in Margha area of Barmal but were stopped and air assistance was called in."
The Nato-led ISAF could not confirm the number of dead but said there had been a bid to attack the base which was repelled.
Spokesman Sergeant Christopher DeWitt said: "I can confirm that a coalition base in eastern Afghanistan came under attack by insurgents.
"Coalition aircraft assisted ground forces in repelling the attack and there is an unknown number of enemies that were killed in that process."
Combat outposts in Afghanistan are typically located in remote areas and house several hundred troops.