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Afghan Police Thwart Attack; Coalition Collects Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2006 – Afghan National Police thwarted an insurgent attack in Afghanistan Paktika province, while coalition forces collected and destroyed weapons across the country this week, military officials reported today.

Police successfully defended an attack on the Sarobi District Center in Paktika's Sabari district yesterday. ANP forces counterattacked and defeated the 15 insurgents while maintaining control of the center.

The mayor of Sarobi and three Afghan police members sustained minor shrapnel wounds during the battle. They were treated and released from a nearby coalition medical facility.

Following the attack, a combined force of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers responded to the district center area to provide more support. The insurgents retreated from the area prior to the team's arrival.

"The coalition continues to work closely with Afghan national security forces to ensure the people of Afghanistan are protected by their legitimate government," said Army Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "Together with the Afghan people, we will stop these insurgents as they try to spread unrest and violence."

On June 6, Afghan and coalition forces collected and disarmed homemade bombs and other weapons across Afghanistan.

In the Shamsakheyl village, Mihtarlam district, Laghman province, Afghan children found a suspicious cable by the side of a road. An Afghan adult dug up the two roadside bombs that the cable was attached to and turned them in to coalition forces for destruction.

Afghan border police in the Khost district of Khost province discovered as many as 20 mortar rounds. They secured the weapons until a coalition explosives team arrived to dispose of them.

In the same region, an Afghan civilian turned in 15 anti-tank mine-arming devices to coalition authorities. A coalition explosives team also disposed of these devices.

"Landmines, IEDs and other munitions are incredibly dangerous and indiscriminate killers," Fitzpatrick said. "They can and do kill innocent people. The placement of these weapons in civilian areas only increases the chance they will maim or kill Afghan citizens who are simply going about their day-to-day lives."

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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