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Troops in Afghanistan Detain Nine Enemy Fighters

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces detained nine enemy fighters today, including six who were nabbed after a firefight, military officials reported.

In Paktika, credible intelligence led the forces to compounds suspected of harboring anti-coalition militants believed to be involved in weapons trafficking, officials said.

A search of the compounds yielded assorted blasting caps, magazines and loose ammunition. These items were taken to a safe place and destroyed. Soldiers also found Taliban propaganda and detained two men. No shots were fired, and no damage was done to the compound.

As the forces were traveling from the compound, militants engaged the forces with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and small-arms fire from multiple positions. The forces returned fire. Two suspected militants were wounded, stabilized on-site and detained. Four other militants surrendered.

No civilians were injured or killed in the operation, and the original detainees were unharmed during the firefight.

In the Tere Zayi district of Khowst province today, Afghan and coalition forces detained a man after credible intelligence led them to a compound suspected of harboring a facilitator of anti-coalition militant activity. An empty ammunition vest, weapons, full magazines and propaganda items were found in a search of the compound.

“Afghan and coalition forces will continue to show extremists there is no room for them among the peaceful people of Afghanistan,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a coalition spokesman. “Militants who intend to hurt the coalition or our Afghan allies will not be tolerated.”

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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