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U.S. Troops Battle Insurgents in Afghanistan, Four Weapons Caches Found

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2005 – Two American troops were wounded during a firefight between coalition and insurgent forces April 11 near Khwost, Afghanistan.

The two injured Americans were treated in a hospital at Bagram Airfield and were listed in stable condition. No Afghan security forces involved in the fighting were killed or injured.

About 12 insurgents were killed in the engagement, which began when the enemy attacked 30 to 35 Afghan security forces with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

Coalition forces and aircraft were called to the scene. The insurgents were reported to be fleeing the area, but the coalition forces located them.

After the fighting, coalition forces discovered an improvised explosive device on a dead insurgents. In other news, Afghan citizens, police, and coalition troops teamed up to collect more then 26 RPGs, 154 rockets, 310 recoilless rifle rounds and more then 570 mortar rounds gathered from four weapons caches.

"The turn-in of these caches is a testimonial to the positive working relationship we've cultivated with the Afghan police," said Maj. J.R. Mendoza, a U.S. information operations officer. Removing dangerous munitions from Afghan communities, he said, "not only denies insurgents the materials they need to continue their fight, but it also makes these communities safer for everyone."

The Department of Defense has announced the names of the eight dead soldiers and the identity of six others listed as "duty status whereabouts unknown" from the helicopter crash on April 6.

The identity of the 15th service member has not been announced yet. The CH-47 Chinook helicopter had flown out of Bagram on April 6 on a supply and transport mission to southern Afghanistan. It was returning to Bagram when it crashed in severe weather near Ghazni.

Killed were:

  • Chief Warrant Officer David Ayala, 24, of New York, N.Y. Ayala was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.
  • Spc. Daniel J. Freeman, 20, of Cincinnati, Ohio. Freeman was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy.
  • Master Sgt. Edwin A. Matoscolon, 42, of Juana Diaz, P.R. Matoscolon was assigned to Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
  • Maj. Edward J. Murphy, 36, of South Carolina. Murphy was assigned to the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Camp Ederle, Italy.
  • Chief Warrant Officer Clint J. Prather, 32, of Cheney, Wash. Prather was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.
  • Staff Sgt. Charles R. Sanders Jr., 29, of Charleston, Mo. Sanders was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.
  • Spc. Chrystal G. Stout, 23, of Travelers Rest, S.C. Stout was assigned to the Army National Guard's 228th Signal Brigade, Spartanburg, S.C.
  • Pfc. Pendelton L. Sykes II, 25, of Chesapeake, Va. Sykes was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.

Reported as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown are:

  • Sgt. Maj. Barbaralien Banks, 41, of Harvey, La. Banks is assigned to Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
  • Capt. David S. Connolly, 37, of Boston, Mass. Connolly is assigned to the Army Reserve's 1173rd Transportation Terminal Battalion, Brockton, Mass.
  • Sgt. Stephen C. High, 45, of Spartanburg, S.C. High is assigned to the Army National Guard's 228th Signal Brigade, Spartanburg, S.C.
  • Spc. Michael K. Spivey, 21, of Fayetteville, N.C. Spivey is assigned to the 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Aviation Brigade, Giebelstadt, Germany.
  • Spc. Sascha Struble, 20, of Philadelphia, N.Y. Struble is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy.
  • Staff Sgt. Romanes L. Woodard, 30, of Hertford, N.C. Woodard is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Camp Ederle, Italy.

(Compiled from press releases.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Forces Command Afghanistan


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