Afghan, Coalition Forces Defeat Insurgents in Helmand Province
American Forces Press Service
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Oct. 22, 2007 Afghan and coalition forces engaged and killed nearly three dozen Taliban fighters in a second day of sustained fighting near the Musa Qaleh Wadi region of Helmand province today.
The combined force was conducting a reconnaissance mission when Taliban fighters engaged the patrol with rocket and small-arms fire. ANSF and coalition forces returned fire and easily out-maneuvered the enemy, quickly putting them on the defensive.
The Taliban continued attempting to reinforce their ambush positions for several hours. The coalition used small-arms, machine gun, mortar fire and close-air support to destroy Taliban fighters.
The enemy also placed an improvised explosive device along the route to prevent Afghan and coalition forces’ movements; however, an Afghan citizen led coalition members to the IED, where it was destroyed in place.
“Even in the midst of a fierce firefight, an Afghan civilian led the (Afghan forces) to an IED, preventing a potential disaster,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force-82 spokesman. “This is a clear statement that Afghan citizens know the (Afghan forces are) here to secure and create a stable environment.”
Today’s actions are part of a larger operation to disrupt terrorist activities in the Helmand province. On Oct. 19, more than a dozen Taliban insurgents attacked a combined Afghan and coalition forces reconnaissance patrol in the Musa Qaleh Wadi region, but were also repelled. There were no reports of non-combatant injuries or damage to property.
(From a Combined Joint Task Force 82 news release.)