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20 Insurgents, 9 Afghan Soldiers Die in Firefight

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2005 – Afghan National Army and U.S. soldiers killed an estimated 20 insurgents during a prolonged firefight at an isolated compound just north of Kandahar on May 4, military officials reported here today.

The action also killed nine Afghan National Army soldiers and wounded four ANA soldiers, one U.S. soldier and one insurgent. At least five suspected insurgent members are in coalition custody, officials said. All wounded individuals were evacuated to Kandahar Airfield.

The fighting occurred during a joint operation with ANA and U.S. battalions to strengthen Afghanistan government authority in the region.

Coalition forces reported fighting with two groups of five to eight individuals May 4 inside a small walled compound. A second engagement, this time scattered around the compound, occurred as coalition aircraft responded to the scene.

Fighting reportedly died down overnight, but by early May 5 coalition forces noted resumed activity inside the compound and detained five individuals.

The four wounded ANA and U.S. soldiers were treated at the U.S. hospital at Kandahar Airfield. All five have since returned to duty.

(Based on a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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