The attack came in Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan where insurgents have hideouts. – File Photo by AFP

KABUL: A Nato air strike killed 27 insurgents in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday after they opened fire on an international military patrol, officials said.

The attack came in Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan where insurgents have hideouts and many of the 10-year war's bloodiest battles take place.

“Coalition aircraft killed 27 insurgents this morning in the Nazyan district of Nangarhar province,” said a spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Force (ISAF) in eastern Afghanistan.

“Insurgents attacked a coalition patrol with small arms and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades). Air weapons teams responded immediately. There were no coalition or Afghan civilian deaths reported.” The Taliban were not immediately contactable for comment on the incident.

Last week, up to 70 Taliban fighters were killed after trying to attack an Isaf troop outpost in the eastern province of Paktika, Afghan and Isaf officials said.

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

All foreign combat forces are due to leave the country by the end of 2014, but a sizeable mission to train and mentor Afghan troops is set to remain beyond that date.

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