18 Taliban militants killed in NATO airstrike in Afghanistan

At least 18 suspected Taliban militants were killed Saturday, in an airstrike by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) jets in the southwestern Afghan province of Paktika, an Afghan police official said.

IANS| Last Updated: Jan 04, 2015, 00:14 AM IST

Kabul: At least 18 suspected Taliban militants were killed Saturday, in an airstrike by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) jets in the southwestern Afghan province of Paktika, an Afghan police official said.

The airstrike was carried out by helicopters in the strife-torn district of Yahya Khel near Afghanistan`s border with Pakistan, according to Nabi Jan Malakhel, a police official.

"The bombing took the lives of 18 Taliban (militants), including several foreigners," Malakhel said.

The NATO attack came after Afghan forces Thursday took over security responsibilities from the US-led coalition forces which ended their 13-year-long combat mission in Afghanistan Dec 28.

However, even after the official assumption of security responsibility by the Afghan forces, some 13,000 NATO servicemen, including 10,800 Americans, are to remain in the country in 2015 to train and advise the Afghan national security forces.

NATO`s mission, "Resolute Support", and the security agreement signed between Afghanistan and the US sanction the presence of 10,800 US soldiers and 3,000 to 4,000 more soldiers of the alliance against the maximum of 140,000 foreign troops in 2011.

NATO has said that the international force will continue offering air support for Afghan forces on the ground.