Soldiers Killed, Wounded in Afghanistan; DoD Identifies Casualties
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 22, 2006 Four U.S. soldiers were killed and one was wounded yesterday during combat and combat rescue operations in the Kamdesh district of Afghanistan's Nuristan province, and the Defense Department has identified two earlier casualties from the war in Iraq.
Coalition forces attacked enemy extremists in a remote area of the Kamdesh district while conducting security operations to interdict enemy movement through northern Nuristan, officials said. During the mission, four U.S. soldiers were killed. Their names are being withheld until their families are notified.
"We deeply regret the deaths of these brave and selfless soldiers who died fighting for security and freedom," said Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of Combined Joint task Force 76. "These superb soldiers, who represented the best our nation has to offer, served our Army and nation proudly. They were fighting for a better future for the people of Afghanistan, and we will never forget them."
The soldier who was wounded in the fighting was evacuated to a coalition hospital and was reported to be in stable condition.
Close-air support and ground forces continued to press the assault on enemy positions into the night, officials said. Enemy casualties have yet to be determined.
Afghan National Army and coalition forces have conducted operations in the most northern regions of Nuristan since Operation Mountain Lion began in mid-April. Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials said Afghan and coalition forces have made good progress in disrupting enemy movement throughout the region and have introduced much needed humanitarian support and, through security and stability, have paved the way for new construction, economic development and needed infrastructure.
"We will not be deterred in our mission," Freakley said. "With the support of Afghan and coalition forces, the Afghan government offers development, jobs, education (and) a better way of life. These insurgents only bring violence, fear and intimidation. They offer the people of Afghanistan nothing. Our fallen soldiers would want their comrades to continue the good work they left behind."
Also yesterday, the Defense Department identified two soldiers who died June 17 in Ramadi, Iraq, when a roadside bomb detonated near their Humvee. Sgt. Reyes Ramirez, 23, of Willis, Texas, and Spc. Robert L. Jones, 22, of Milwaukie, Ore., were assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion, Baumholder, Germany.
(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan and Defense Department news releases.)