Western-backed Afghan troops have killed approximately 60 militants near the Pakistan border in an assault on the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, Afghanistan's intelligence agency has said.

Nato air forces provided support for the attack in south-eastern Afghanistan, in close proximity to Pakistan's Waziristan region, where a poorly patrolled border allows for the unchallenged transfer of militants. Nato has declined to comment on the operation.

During the strike five Afghan National Army soldiers were killed, six wounded and one taken prisoner.

The attack comes as the United States seeks to leave its mark on the terror cell before its forces depart the region next year.

Afghanistan interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said that Afghan forces were warned of imminent insurgent attacks, allowing them to prepare for an ambush on the militants.

"Hundreds of insurgents tried to take over the district centre but we were there and hit them with a huge blow," Sediqqi said.

"Dead bodies, wounded fighters, their weapons and pickup trucks were left on the battlefield."

The Haqqani network answers to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and has been blamed for a number of deadly attacks in the Afghan war.

The group have been held responsible for hotel attacks on foreigners in the Afghan capital of Kabul and assaults on both the Indian and the US embassy.

The US designated the group as a terrorist organisation in 2012 and believes that Pakistan's spy agency supports it.

The US military operation in Afghanistan is set to end on 31 December but some forces are set to remain in a training capacity.

Both of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's likely replacements in this month's presidential elections have pledged to honour the security agreement.