KABUL – U.S. coalition troops attacked a suspected foreign fighter camp in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 29 insurgents in an intense firefight, the military said, while a NATO Soldier died after a roadside bomb attack in the south.
At least six insurgents equipped with explosives blew themselves up during the clash in eastern Paktika province near the border with Pakistan, the coalition said in a statement.
One coalition member was wounded in the assault, in which troops also called in airstrikes for support.
Afghan authorities said they recovered 34 bodies, including 22 Arabs and Pakistanis, said Hamidullah Zuhak, a spokesman for Paktika’s governor. They found personal documents on the bodies of those killed, he said.
Following the battle, forces discovered weapons caches containing rocket-propelled grenade launchers, AK-47 assault rifles, suicide vests and other armaments, the military said in a statement.
Insurgents use the volatile and porous border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan as a base for operations, from which U.S. military officers say they launch attacks on Western troops.
The administration of President Barack Obama has declared eliminating militant havens in Pakistan vital to its goals of defeating al-Qaida and winning the war in Afghanistan.