KABUL (AFP) -Twenty rebels including five foreigners were killed in a joint operation by Afghan and US-led forces in southeast Afghanistan, officials said amid rising militant activity.
The rebels including three Chechens and two Uzbeks were killed after firing rockets at Afghan National Army bases in the Spera and Lewara districts of Khost province, defense ministry spokesman General Mohammed Zahir Azimi told reporters.
"The enemies launched rocket attacks on ANA bases in Spera and Lewara districts of Khost province on Thursday and Friday in which one ANA solider was killed," defense ministry spokesman General Mohammed Zahir Azimi told reporters.
"In response, Afghan and coalition forces launched an operation with coalition air support in which 20 enemy elements were killed, their bodies were left on the spot," he said.
Azimi added: "Based on the documents obtained from the bodies, three of them are citizens of Chechnya and another two of them are from Uzbekistan. There may be more foreigners but the documents indicate five."
More than three years after the Taliban”s ouster by a US-led campaign, rebels have stepped up attacks in southern and eastern Afghanistan ahead of September parliamentary elections.