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American Forces Press Service

Afghan, Coalition Forces Defeat Enemy Fighters; Civilians Reject Insurgents

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2007 – Elements of the 205th Afghan National Army Corps, advised and assisted by coalition forces, defeated enemy insurgents in two separate firefights in Afghanistan’s Kandahar and Zabul provinces June 6, military officials reported.

The first battle took place midday near the village of Petaw, in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, when an unknown number of enemy forces fired on a combined patrol. The combined patrol immediately returned fire, then quickly maneuvered to kill several enemy fighters within two hours.

The second battle took place during the hours of darkness in the Deh Chopan district of Zabul province when enemy forces fired 107 mm rockets at a coalition firebase. Afghan and coalition forces returned mortar fire then pursued an unknown number of enemy attackers as they attempted to get away. During the pursuit, the combined force exchanged small-arms fire with the fleeing attackers, killing a number of them.

No Afghan civilian injuries were reported in the separate battles.

“Afghan National Army and coalition forces will remain devoted to uprooting insurgent elements in the region,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “We will continue to assist and advise the (Afghan National Army) by conducting combined security operations in order to enhance the Afghan government’s ability to maintain stability in the region.”

Elsewhere, several hundred Afghans and village elders from the Ali Khail (Jaji) and Laja Ahmad Khail districts of Paktya province forced enemy insurgents out of their villages June 4.

The Afghan villagers were angered over the enemy insurgent presence in their area and informed Afghan national police and coalition forces, officials said. Afghan civilians confronted the insurgents, took their weapons, and told the enemy insurgents they were no longer welcome in their districts.

Afghan residents near Chamkani also stopped enemy insurgents from bringing fighters, suicide bombers and material from Pakistan through the area. Two weeks ago, Chamkani Afghan police members intercepted two suicide bombers after receiving information from the local populace. As a result, one suicide bomber was not able to harm anyone and blew himself up. During that same time period, Afghan civilians came to the aid of two Afghan border control points and repelled enemy forces as they attempted to overrun the positions.

Two days ago, in neighboring Paktika province, local tribal members near Shkin pursued enemy insurgents near the Pakistan border after the insurgents killed two civilians and injured several others during an enemy direct-fire attack on the local bazaar.

In Khowst province, the local populace has pledged support to serve and protect the region from insurgents and assist the local legitimate government. In addition, Afghan civilians have expressed their support to assist local checkpoints in the Zambar region.

“Afghan civilians living in Paktya, Paktika and Khowst have decided to not allow enemy insurgents to seek refuge in their villages anymore,” Belcher said. “There is no limit to what the Afghan National Army and Afghan national security forces can accomplish with the support of the Afghan populace.”

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

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