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American Forces Press Service

U.S. Warplanes Kill 12 Insurgents; Afghan Border Unit Scores Drug Bust

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2005 U.S. warplanes killed 12 insurgents after the individuals attacked a coalition patrol east of Gayan, in Afghanistan's Paktika province, late May 21. One U.S. soldier was wounded during the incident.

The incident started when a group of four insurgents crossed the border into Afghanistan from Pakistan and attacked a U.S. patrol with small arms near the eastern city of Gayan. The unit returned fire, and the insurgents fled the area. They met up with a group of eight other individuals a short distance later.

U.S. warplanes responded to the attack and, in coordination with soldiers on the ground, reported killing all 12 insurgents.

The one U.S. soldier reported wounded during the attack received medical treatment at the site and returned to duty.

In other news from Afghanistan, the 6th Brigade Transitional Afghan Border Security Forces stopped a shipment of drugs being smuggled across the Afghanistan-Iran border May 19.

This is the third time in just over a month that the border unit has thwarted such smuggling. TABSF added 144 kilograms (317 pounds) to the drug count with the most recent operation, bringing the total to 644 kilos (1,417 pounds) confiscated at the border to date.

Bags of hashish and opium were stuffed in the trunk of a white Toyota Corolla that was headed through the district of Ghoryan for Iran. TABSF acted on "credible information" in stopping the car, U.S. officials said.

The hashish amounted to 65 kilos (143 pounds) and was hidden in 64 Maxwell House coffee wrappers. Seventy-nine kilos (174 pounds) of opium were also concealed in 24 other bags and labeled with the recipients' names written on pieces of paper taped on the bags.

Two men in the vehicle were arrested and were to be handed over to the counternarcotics police of Herat. Two other men on motorcycles fled from the scene. The drugs were also handed over to the counternarcotics police of Herat May 21.

"Before I came, there were so much drugs, smuggling and corruption," said Afghan Col. Safe Aube, the border unit's commander. "We are sending all the soldiers to the academy for training and to teach them to serve their country right. We have pride in our country and what we do."

The first bust April 19 uncovered 480 kilos of heroin, and the second about a week ago brought up 20 kilos more of opium.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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