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Taliban Loses 70 Fighters in Disastrous Raid

ISAF troops dealt the Taliban an embarrassing blow when they killed 70 insurgents without losing a man.
First Publish: 11/9/2011, 10:45 PM

The Taliban suffered an embarrassing defeat when as many at 70 fighters were killed during an attempted raid on a coalition forces base in eastern Afhganistan, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The disastrous raid took place late on Tuesday at a combat outpost in Paktika province, close to the border with Pakistan. No international troops were killed or injured in the battle.

Mokhlis Afghan, a spokesman for the governor of Paktika, said the insurgents who targeted the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base were likely to have come from the Pakistani side of the border, a region where numerous terrorist base-camps are located.

"In a joint ISAF 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 said an estimated 60 Taliban were killed in the clash, while there were no casualties among international forces.

ISAF spokesman Sergeant Christopher DeWitt added: "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."

The Taliban's spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Akbar, governor of Sar Hawza district in Paktika, died late Tuesday after his car struck a roadside bomb in the province, his spokesman said.

There are some 140,000 international troops in Afghanistan; most of them from the United States, fighting a Taliban-led insurgency which started after the Taliban were ousted from power by the US-led invasion in 2001.

ISAF troops are scheduled to leave the country by the end of 2014, but a sizeable mission tasked with training and mentoring Afghan troops is expected to remain beyond that date.