KABUL (AFP) - Afghan and international troops have destroyed a massive bunker complex in eastern Afghanistan used by the Haqqani insurgent network to store arms and shelter foreign fighters, officials said Sunday. The troops were backed by helicopters in a battle that lasted 24 hours and resulted in the deaths of 'a large number of enemy militants, the defence ministry and NATO said in a joint statement. The operation took place in an isolated mountain region of Urgun district, in Paktika province which borders Pakistan, it said. The joint force under command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force 'engaged small arms fire from hostile militants during the operation, it said. The force used direct fire and close air support to repel the attacks from militants. The force killed a large number of hostile militants and recovered multiple anti-aircraft artillery pieces, two heavy machine guns, two light machine guns, several assault rifles, multiple chest racks, ammunition and communications gear. The force destroyed the bunker complex and all enemy weaponry in place, it said. The Haqqani network is a powerful group based in northwest Pakistan closely linked to Al-Qaeda and known for its ruthless and sophisticated attacks, including an assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.