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Hundreds of Taliban Fighters Killed During Afghanistan Battles

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2007 – Members of the 205th Afghan National Army Corps advised by coalition forces killed more than 100 insurgents during combat in Afghanistan’s Helmand province today.

The combined force was patrolling near Regay village to clear the area of extremist Taliban fighters. Several dozen insurgents attacked the convoy from an extensive trench system and several compounds with small arms, machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Taliban fighters reinforced their fighting positions from the village of Musa Qalah throughout the daylong battle.

Coalition aircraft and artillery engaged the Taliban positions. The initial estimate by the ground force commander assessed that more than 100 insurgents were killed in the engagement.

“Afghan national security forces and their coalition partners continue to hunt down the enemies of peace and stability in Helmand province,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “The end is near for the Taliban that believe Musa Qalah is safe from Islamic Republic of Afghanistan forces. This combined operation is just one more step to securing the Musa Qalah area of the Helmand province.”

In operations last night, elements of 1st Brigade, 205th Afghan National Army Corps, advised by coalition forces made contact with a large group of insurgents prior to an attempted ambush while conducting a combat patrol near Kakrak village in Oruzgan province.

The combined patrol was northeast of Deh Rawood, in the same general area where six days ago more than three dozen insurgents were killed as they prepared an ambush.

The Afghan-led patrol attacked the Taliban with small-arms and crew-served-weapons fire. Soon after the attack against the entrenched insurgents began, the patrol observed more enemy reinforcements moving into the Taliban fighting positions. More than 80 Taliban fighters battled with Afghan forces throughout the engagement.

The insurgents continued to attack the patrol with small-arms, machine-gun, rocket-propelled-grenade and mortar fire from multiple bunkers near Kakrak village during the six-hour battle.

Precision-guided munitions used to attack the Taliban positions killed more than 65 insurgents.

“As with our forces near Musa Qalah, this operation is intended to deny the enemies of peace the use of Deh Rawood as a safe haven,” Belcher said. “Much like last week’s engagement, last night’s overwhelming victory by (Afghan troops) against the extremists is one more example of this strategy to secure a stable and safe living area for the residents of Uruzgan province.”

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

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