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Taliban Killed, Wounded in Firefight; Coalition Aircraft Interdict Enemy

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2006 – Afghan National Police fought a significant Taliban force in Mianashin, near Kandahar City, in Kandahar province, while coalition forces interdicted enemy fighters in Helmand province, both yesterday, U.S. military officials in Afghanistan said today.

The ANP reported three Taliban fighters were killed and another seven wounded in the firefight. One ANP officer was killed and six others were wounded.

Coalition forces were aware of the Kandahar incident but did not take part.

"I congratulate the ANP for yesterday's successful operation in Mianashin," said British Brig. Gen. David Fraser, Combined Task Force Aegis commander, said today. "The coalition is convinced by actions such as yesterday's firefight that the ANP will play an even larger role in improving security across Afghanistan in the days and weeks ahead.

"More and more, Afghan authorities are successfully protecting good citizens from terrorists and criminals who are trying to destroy Afghanistan 's future," Fraser added.

Coalition aircraft patrolling the Helmand province fired two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and dropped one bomb on four enemies while they were meeting at a suspected Taliban camp in the Lashkar Gah district.

Three enemy fighters were killed and one fled during the air strike.

No damage to civilians or property was observed during the operation.

The people killed were responsible for launching numerous attacks against the Afghan government and coalition forces, including financing terrorist activities, officials said.

"Afghan and coalition forces will continue to pursue those who stand in the way of the government of Afghanistan's objectives," said Army Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "Afghans are tired of the death and violence Taliban fighters and other enemies of Afghanistan have inflicted upon them," he said.

(Based on Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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