Battle in Afghanistan Leaves One U.S. Servicemember, One Enemy Dead
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2005 One U.S. servicemember and one enemy fighter were killed today during a firefight northeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Afghan and U.S. troops were conducting a joint combat patrol when they came under small-arms fire. U.S. and Afghan forces returned fire, and nearby coalition attack aircraft and helicopters responded, engaging enemy positions. The enemy fighters fled the scene.
A U.S. soldier and one Afghan National Army soldier also were wounded. They are in stable condition at a nearby U.S. medical facility.
"This is a sad day for us all here in Afghanistan," said Brig. Gen. Jack Sterling Jr., deputy commanding general (support) of Combined Joint Task Force 76. "The loss of one of our own is a tremendous weight on all our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our fallen comrade. Our soldiers are here serving alongside the Afghan National Army to bring peace and prosperity to this great nation, and this tragic incident will only strengthen our resolve toward those goals."
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, 47 Afghan detainees were released at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility today under the Government of Afghanistan's Tahkim-e Sohl program. Officials had determined the detainees no longer present a threat. Each detainee received a gym bag containing a Koran, prayer blanket, three packaged military meals, three bottles of water, and new clothes, and all personal items were returned to them.
The release is part of an ongoing effort by the U.S. supporting the government of Afghanistan's program for strengthening peace, officials said.
In the skies over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 19 close-air-support missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The missions included support to coalition and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities, and the conduct of presence route patrols. U.S. Air Force A-10s and a B-52 provided close-air support to coalition forces in contact with enemy troops near Qalat. The A-10s successfully expended a general-purpose 500-pound bomb and strafed enemy positions.
Four U.S. Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft also flew missions in support of Afghan operations, and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a non-traditional ISR role.
(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)