Afghanistan battle kills '150 insurgents' says Nato

Nato said today that up to 150 insurgents were killed in an eastern Afghanistan battle after two large groups of fighters crossed the border from Pakistan.

The fighters were attacked with ground fire and airstrikes, Nato said. Gen Murad Ali, the Afghan army regional deputy corps commander, said the insurgents had travelled into Paktika province with several trucks carrying ammunition.

A Nato statement said "initial battle damage estimates" indicated that as many as 150 fighters were killed. Ali said more than 50 fighters were killed overnight. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, estimated the toll at 80.

Independent confirmation of the death toll was not immediately possible at the remote battle site.

Azimi said one Pakistani fighter was wounded and captured. Rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns were also recovered, he said.

Taliban militants last year launched a record number of attacks, and an estimated 4,000 people died in insurgency-related violence - the bloodiest year since the US-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime in late 2001.

The fight in Paktika province's Bermel district was the first major engagement of 2007, and appeared to be the largest battle since a multi-day operation killed more than 500 suspected Taliban fighters in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar province in September.

Nato did not say how it estimated that 150 fighters were killed. In early December, Nato said it had killed 70-80 fighters in Helmand province - but days later, it said that only seven or eight were killed.

In the southern province of Helmand, meanwhile, Nato forces called in airstrikes on Taliban positions during a clash in the village of Gereshk yesterday, said a local police chief, Ghulam Nabi Mulahkhail.

Among those killed was a local Taliban group commander identified as Mullah Faqir Mohammad, the police official said. One Afghan soldier was wounded and evacuated to a Nato medical facility, the alliance said in a statement.

The troops recovered weapons and ammunition in the militant compound following the operation, the statement said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Day In a Page

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England