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American Forces Press Service

Afghan, Coalition Forces Kill, Detain Taliban Militants

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces today killed more than 12 Taliban fighters in Helmand province and captured five suspected militants in Zabul province, military officials reported.

Afghan national security and coalition forces engaged and killed more than a dozen Taliban fighters, including a suspected Taliban commander, in the Musa Qaleh Wadi region of Helmand province today.

The combined force was conducting a reconnaissance patrol in northern Helmand when insurgents attacked them with small-arms and rocket-propelled-grenade fire. Afghan and coalition forces immediately maneuvered and engaged the enemy with small arms, close-air support and artillery fire, repelling the initial attack.

Taliban forces attempted to reinforce their positions with additional fighters and weapons for several hours, but were repeatedly neutralized by friendly forces. There were no reports of non-combatant injuries or damage to property.

"The Taliban tried to surround the (Afghan national security forces) and coalition forces, but the coalition's quick reaction thwarted the enemy attack and saved the Afghan citizens from future atrocities," said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman.

Five suspected militants were detained by coalition forces in two separate operations today in Zabul province.

While carrying out an operation to disrupt violent extremist activities in the Shajoy district, coalition forces met with hostile resistance during a search of a compound in the area.

“During a search of several buildings in the Shajoy district, coalition forces received small-arms fire from one of the buildings on the compound,” Belcher said. “Coalition forces returned fire, effectively ending the attack.”

Resuming their search, coalition forces detained four individuals intelligence sources indicated as having possible ties with militant forces.

In the other operation, coalition forces conducted a search of storage facilities in the Qalat district where individuals suspected of having ties to militant forces were indicated to be hiding.

“Coalition forces detained an individual whom reliable intelligence sources indicated as possibly having ties to key militants in the area,” Belcher said. “How important this individual is to the overall architecture of extremist forces will not be determined for some time. However, extremist forces now have one less member to facilitate violent actions against the people of Afghanistan.”

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

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