Dozen Taliban killed in Afghanistan

KABUL: US-led coalition airstrikes in remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan killed more than a dozen Islamist militants in bunkers overnight, the US military said Tuesday.

The strikes in the eastern province of Khost were called in against senior commanders of the Haqqani network, a Taliban outfit that is linked to Al-Qaeda and accused of some of the most sophisticated attacks in Afghanistan.

"Coalition forces planned and coordinated the airstrikes when intelligence sources indicated militant activity at this rugged location earlier in the day," the military said in a statement.

"Coalition force aircraft were called in and destroyed a pair of command bunkers, killing more than a dozen militants."

The statement described the network as one of the "most lethal Taliban organisations" and said it operated out of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Area just across the border.

The network is said to be behind several attacks in Kabul, including one on a five-star hotel in 2008 and the attempted assassination of President Hamid Karzai in April last year.

The US military and Afghan security forces are leading the fight against a mounting Taliban-led insurgency that has seen a record number of attacks this year since the 2001 invasion that overthrew the Taliban government.