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American Forces Press Service

Timely Communications Thwart Taliban Movement to Pakistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2007 – Pakistani, Afghan and U.S. troops teamed up to stop a group of Taliban insurgents from crossing the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan during a March 7 incident, officials said.

Pakistani border forces reported that an insurgent vehicle was attempting to enter Pakistan from an area where Afghan and U.S. soldiers were attacked near the Afghan village of Shkin, in Paktika province.

Afghan and U.S. forces responded with two 105 mm artillery rounds, resulting in a direct hit on the insurgents’ vehicle. Secondary explosions were observed, leading the force to conclude that the vehicle was loaded with munitions to be used in further attacks against Afghan citizens and Afghan and coalition forces.

There were no reported injuries to Afghan citizens or troops or coalition forces during this engagement. Coalition officials said the strike illustrates effective coordination between Afghan and Pakistani border forces.

“The combined operations to ensure security of the border region demonstrates the Afghan government and coalition’s ability to respond to and take action against insurgent fighters who attempt to terrorize Afghans in Paktika province,” said Lt. Col. David Accetta, a coalition spokesman. “Through our combined effort we will continue to increase security and eliminate Taliban insurgents who threaten Islamic Republic of Afghanistan objectives.”

All operations were conducted inside Afghanistan in direct coordination with Pakistani forces nearby, officials said.

In other Afghanistan news, Taliban insurgents near Deh Rawood in the Oruzgan province ambushed a small group of Afghan civilians March 7, officials said.

Two civilians were killed, but others were saved due to the timely intervention of nearby Afghan security forces, U.S. officials said.

Nearby Afghan police responded quickly and drove off the attackers. Afghan soldiers from Deh Rawood assisted the police in disrupting the Taliban attack. Coalition forces provided support by firing illumination rounds to light up the attack scene and surrounding area.

The remaining Taliban decided to flee when faced by highly trained Afghan national security forces, officials said.

“This timely and well-coordinated response from the combined forces undoubtedly saved lives,” Accetta said. “This incident is a fine example of how the Afghan forces are extending the security reach of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and protecting the citizens.”

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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