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Soldier Wounded in Afghanistan; Weapons Caches Discovered

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2003 – A Special Forces soldier was wounded today in a firefight in far western Afghanistan. He is listed in stable condition.

The soldier was hit in the lower leg when the mounted patrol he was taking part in came under fire about 50 kilometers southeast of Shindand.

The patrol returned fire and broke contact, a U.S. military spokesman in Bagram said. U.S. officials evacuated the soldier to medical facilities at Kandahar Air Field.

This is the second day in a row that a U.S. soldier has been wounded in the country. On Jan. 16, two soldiers were wounded when a homemade bomb went off under the vehicle they were driving in. They were treated at the facility in Kandahar and released. That incident occurred near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.

Coalition forces continue to find and confiscate weapons caches around the country. U.S. special operations forces found caches in Jalalabad, Bamian, Kandahar and Gardez. This follows a cordon-and-search operation conducted with Afghan military forces Jan. 15 that uncovered a cache in Paktia province.

U.S. officials are encouraged that local Afghan tribesmen are revealing many cache locations. U.S. officials in the country said this shows that the people of the area see the U.S. presence is fostering security.

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