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Many insurgents killed in Afghan fighting

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Operation took place in province near Pakistan border
  • Foreign fighters killed, locals say
  • One slain militant believed responsible for March ambush
  • Afghanistan
  • The Taliban
  • Pakistan

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghan and international troops killed a "large number of insurgents" during an offensive this week, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Wednesday.

Foreign fighters and several leaders for both the Haqqani network and the Taliban were among those killed in the operation, in Jani Khel district of Paktiya province, located in eastern Afghanistan near Pakistan.

Insurgents in the region move supplies and foreign fighters into Afghanistan from Pakistan.

The security force killed a Haqqani network commander from Khost province named Hamiddullah, the military said. He had ties to Haqqani senior leadership based in Pakistan. He was believed to be responsible for an ambush of an Afghan National Army unit that left three Afghan police dead in March.

Troops also killed Qari Ismael, a Taliban leader for Jani Khel district, and Maulawi Sadiq, a known facilitator for foreign fighters.

Arabs, Uzbeks, Turks and Chechens were among those killed, according to officials and village elders, and troops say they were integrated into the ranks of the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

Dozens of automatic weapons, multiple rocket-propelled grenade launchers and rounds, and communication equipment were found.

Authorities believe Hamiddullah's death will disrupt Haqqani network operations.

No coalition forces were injured or killed, the military said.