Khost (Afghanistan), July 28 : At least 70 insurgents were killed near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan, when helicopter gunships and ground-fighting forces repulsed an attack by Taliban-led insurgents.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) force said that insurgents numbering over 100, tried to capture the Spera district centre in Khost, 15km from the border with Pakistan, on Sunday with guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Police and soldiers from NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) surrounded the attackers and resorted to air strikes consisting of heavy machinegun fire from helicopters.
"As they retreated, international military air forces came in and bombed them. Fifty to 70 Taliban have been killed," said Khost Governor Arsala Jamal.
Jamal further said, "The rebels were able to get very close to the district headquarters in Spera before the air forces arrived."
The Taliban, an Islamic militant group leading an insurgency against the Afghanistan Government, which is backed by about 70,000 international troops, were in power between 1996 and 2001.
They were ousted in a US-led attack in late 2001 launched after they refused to hand over their al-Qaeda ally Osama Bin Laden, accused of involvement in the September 11 attacks.