NATO says allied forces have killed between 50 and 60 Taleban insurgents in southern Afghanistan.

A NATO spokesman Tuesday said the latest clashes occurred in Kandahar province over the course of 24 hours. He says the estimate was based on reports from troops on the ground.

This brings the number of insurgents killed in a NATO-led offensive launched on Saturday to more than 250. Five Canadian soldiers also were killed during the offensive dubbed Operation Medusa, which aims to wipe out Taleban strongholds in Kandahar province.

Earlier in the day, a NATO spokesman, Major Quentin Innesm said allied forces are closing in on Taleban guerrillas, pushing them into what he called "a bit of a trap."

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is due to visit Afghanistan as early as Wednesday, in an effort to mend strained relations between the two countries.

Afghan officials contend that Taleban guerrillas use Pakistani territory as a staging area for their cross-border attacks. Pakistan rejects the accusation.

General Musharraf's visit will coincide with a three-day trip to Kabul of the NATO leadership for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and United Nations officials.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and military commander General James Jones arrived late Monday at the head of the large delegation. They also will visit peacekeeping troops, of which the alliance took command in July.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.