updated 11/18/2008 7:24:05 AM ET 2008-11-18T12:24:05

NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan fired 20 artillery rounds at insurgents inside Pakistan after coordinating with Islamabad, officials said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, five Afghan troops were killed in a clash with insurgents in the west.

The military alliance said it fired the rounds after insurgents attacked its troops in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province with rockets from across the border on Sunday.

"The artillery fire caused a secondary explosion at the rocket launch site, which indicates additional munitions in the location," the NATO statement said.

The Pakistani military confirmed the two sides coordinated in an attack on insurgents in Pakistan but provided no other details.

Officials say relations between NATO-led troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan's military are improving.

However, Pakistan has been complaining about unilateral missile strikes conducted by U.S. forces into its tribal areas. Pakistani officials say the U.S. strikes violate their country's sovereignty.

Separately, insurgents in the western Farah province ambushed an Afghan army supply convoy, killing five troops and wounding five others, said Gen. Fazludin Sayar, the army commander for the western region.

Sayar said five insurgents also died in the clash in Farah's Bala Buluk region on Monday.

Insurgent attacks in Afghanistan are up 30 percent from 2007, military officials say. A tally of official figures provided to The Associated Press show that more than 5,400 people have died in insurgency-related violence this year. Most of the casualties are suspected militants.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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