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Afghan, Coalition Forces Detain Militants, Thwart Ambush

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces detained six suspected militants today during an operation designed to disrupt the facilitation of insurgent attacks against the Afghan government, military officials said.

Credible intelligence led the forces to a compound in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province suspected to harbor anti-coalition militants. Six suspects were detained for questioning about their involvement in insurgent activities.

“Afghan and coalition forces will continue to work together to purge the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan of militants who attempt to undermine the peace,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “The insurgents are fighting a losing battle.”

Officials said no shots were fired during the operation and no one was injured.

Meanwhile, Afghan security forces supported by coalition forces defeated an attempted Taliban ambush near the village of Danjabad, in Farah province, July 6.

Military officials said Taliban insurgents engaged a combined Afghanistan National Army and Afghan National Police patrol from fortified positions with heavy machine guns, small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. The Afghan forces returned fire and countered the attack.

Five Afghan troops were wounded in the operation. More than 30 insurgent fighters were killed by accurate small-arms fire and precision air strikes, officials said.

“All fires were directed by the ground force commander, who carefully evaluated risk of collateral damage against the military necessity, and controlled by a qualified coalition force joint tactical air controller,” Belcher said. “It is important to note that many targets were not bombed or fired on due to Afghan national security force and coalition force precautions against causing collateral damage.”

No civilian casualties were reported during the engagement, officials said.

(Compiled from Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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