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CENTCOM NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

 

May 9, 2005
Release Number: 05-05-10


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


23 INSURGENTS SUSPECTED DEAD AFTER GUN BATTLE

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Two insurgents were confirmed killed and another 21 suspected dead after a five-hour gun battle in the Laghman province Sunday.

Two U.S. Marines also lost their lives in the fighting.

Marines, conducting support and stability operations in the area, received reports of insurgent activity near their location Sunday. As the Marines maneuvered toward the insurgents to investigate approximately 25 individuals attacked them.

The Marines came under attack from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. As the fighting continued the insurgents split into two groups, one of which fled to a village and the others to a cave on a nearby ridgeline. U.S. Air Force A-10 aircraft engaged the insurgents in the cave and a squad of Marines went afterwards to assess the situation. The two Marines were killed while clearing the cave area.

"You did not need to meet these Marines to know them," said Col. Chris Blanchard, the officer in charge of the Marine Coordination Element at Combined Joint Task Force-76. "If you know any Marine, you know that they died courageously to protect all of us from the threat of terrorism. We mourn their deaths and extend our prayers to their families and loved ones."

The names of the deceased are being with held pending notification of next of kin.


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