KHOST (Reuters/AFP) - Two US soldiers were killed in a complex attack on a base in southeast Afghanistan that ended with air strikes on Saturday, the US military said, two days after a major operation against the Taliban was launched in the south. The attack included an attempted suicide truck bombing of the base in the Zirok district of southeastern Paktika province, local officials said. As many as 30 Taliban insurgents might have been killed in the air strikes, they said. The US military said two American soldiers were killed and another four wounded in an explosion in Paktika, which borders Pakistan and where govt troops are locked in battles with militants. There was an explosion, a possible IED (improvised-explosive device), in Paktika province this morning in which two US service members were killed, said military spokesman Sergeant Charles Marsh. Then the base came under random fire by insurgents. We do have two US service members killed and four wounded, said Marsh. Air support was then called in against rebels, he said. The slain soldiers were operating under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, the alliance said later in a statement, adding that they had died in a bomb explosion. The interior ministry in Kabul said 22 rebels were killed in that incident, without mentioning the US casualties, in line with policy. However, Hamidullah Zhwak, a spokesman for the local Afghan administration, put the militants death toll at 32. Zhwak said the US casualties were caused when Taliban insurgents blew up a fuel tanker in front of a local government building in the district of Zirok. After the blast, American helicopters came in and attacked the Taliban who were preparing to attack the district headquarters, he said. Thirty-two Taliban were killed, Zhwak said, adding that 32 dead bodies were recovered after a two-hour battle erupted between armed militants and US helicopter gunships following the initial explosion. Eight other militants were injured and captured by troops, Zhwak said. When contacted by AFP the US military, however, was not able to confirm the militants casualties immediately. The Taliban later claimed responsibility for what it described as a two-pronged attack in which five militants died, excluding a suicide bomber. Today Hafiz Omar carried out a suicide attack with 8,000 kilos of explosives in a (fuel) tanker on an American base... in Zirok, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told AFP. At the same time 100 mujahedin attacked the base just after the explosion... Americans suffered heavy casualties and we lost five of our fighters, the spokesman said. Paktika is one of the most troubled regions in the east where thousands of foreign, mainly US forces are battling a resurgent Taliban, who were evicted from power in Afghanistan by the 2001 US-led invasion. The insurgency aims to topple the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai and has this year reached its deadliest. US President Barack Obama has made Afghanistan the centrepiece of his foreign policy, dispatching an extra 21,000 American troops as part of a sweeping new war plan to stabilise the country. Nearly 4,000 Marines and 600 Afghan forces are pressing a massive operation in the southern province of Helmand, in a pivotal test for the new strategy and to protect the local population ahead of presidential polls on August 20. Separately, a roadside bomb tore through a police vehicle in an insurgent attack in Registan district in Kandahar province on Saturday, killing seven officers, the interior ministry said. A roadside bomb struck a police vehicle which resulted in the martyrdom of seven policemen, the statement said. Two other officers were wounded in the blast, which the ministry blamed on insurgents. In the north, a bomb blast killed an Afghan civilian and wounded another in the province of Jawzjan, the ministry said.