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American Forces Press Service

Forces Pursue Taliban Leaders in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2010 – A combined Afghan and international force interdicted three vehicles in three separate engagements, resulting in more than 10 militants killed while pursuing a Taliban commander in Afghanistan’s Helmand province yesterday.

The force was sent to a rural area in the Washir district after intelligence reports revealed militants were in several vehicles.

One of the vehicles drove away and attempted to elude the assault force. As the force attempted to stop it, weapons were pointed at them through the open car windows. The coalition force engaged and killed the militants who were in the car.

After the fire fight the ammunition inside the vehicle continued to detonate, causing the force to pull back to a safe distance.

Another associated vehicle, with one occupant, drove out of the village, with the coalition force in pursuit. The car stopped and the occupant drew an automatic rifle and attempted to fire on the force, which then killed the militant.

A third vehicle was located, and armed militants got out of both sides of the vehicle and engaged the pursuing force. The joint force returned fire killing several militants.

As the force engaged the third car, it received machine gun and rocket-propelled-grenade fire from the nearby village. As the fire fight continued, militants from the village tried to approach the burning vehicle several times, but were driven off as explosives and ammunition inside the vehicle continued to detonate.

To reduce the possibility of civilian casualties in the village the combined force then broke off the fight and returned to base.

In another event yesterday, an Afghan and international security force searched a compound in Khost province and detained two suspected militants.

No shots were fired and no Afghan civilian were harmed during the operation.

In Kunduz province last night, an Afghan and international security force killed a militant and detained two others while pursuing a Taliban commander.

While searching a compound in the Chahar Darah district, the force came under small-arms fire.

They returned fire, killing one militant. They also recovered an automatic rifle and a grenade.

In other operations, a joint patrol discovered a weapons cache and detained 11 suspected insurgents after an initial explosives discovery led to a large weapons cache in Paktika province yesterday.

The cache consisted of an anti-tank mine, two homemade bombs, a thousand feet of detonation cord, 12 rocket-propelled grenades, six mortar rounds, two pounds of plastic explosive, six blasting caps, 200 rounds of small-arms ammunition, cell phones, hand-held radios and radio base stations, and various other electronic components. An explosive ordnance team destroyed the cache.

In Ghazni province yesterday, an Afghan civilian delivered 15 rocket-propelled grenades to international forces.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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