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Enemy Forces Fire on U.S. Personnel in Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2002 – U.S. special operators came under small-arms fire in two incidents in Afghanistan June 18, Pentagon officials said.

There were no U.S. casualties in either incident, said U.S. Central Command officials.

In the first incident, special operations forces on a mounted patrol came under fire in Tarin Kowht, the capital of Oruzgan Province. The U.S. service members returned fire and killed two ambushers. The incident happened at 11:30 a.m. local time.

The second incident occurred at 7 p.m. near the village of Skhin in Paktika Province, on the Afghan border with Pakistan. Enemy forces in a group of buildings opened fire on U.S. special operations forces and their Afghan allies, Central Command officials said.

The Americans took cover, assessed the situation and called for air support. An AC-130 Spectre gunship fired on the buildings with 105 mm and 40 mm weapons. U.S. officials are on scene and assessing the effectiveness of the strikes.

"These patrols are all part of ongoing operations in Afghanistan," said Marine Maj. Pete Mitchell, a CENTCOM spokesman in Tampa, Fla. The routine reconnaissance operations continue.

Operation Mountain Lion will also continue with U.S. and coalition allies searching caves and tunnels in southeastern Afghanistan. U.S. officials said the coalition forces have found thousands of weapons and millions of rounds and plenty of other equipment.

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