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Coalition, Afghan Forces Kill Enemy Fighters

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2007 – Afghan national security forces and coalition forces engaged and killed a large group of insurgents today near the Deh Rawod district of Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province.

The combined force was conducting a reconnaissance patrol when a large group of insurgents engaged the patrol with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The Taliban fighters attempted to break contact and moved into a nearby compound, causing women and children to flee the area.

Shortly after the combined force determined the enemy’s positions, four separate precision air strikes effectively eliminated the insurgents who were trying to reinforce the enemy positions. Afghan and coalition forces assaulted the positions, conducting a thorough exploitation of the engagement area, officials said.

“The Taliban continues to take up defensive positions in heavily populated areas and use women and children as protection,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “The Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition forces remain devoted to uprooting Taliban insurgents in Oruzgan province.”

In other recent operations in Afghanistan:

-- Coalition and Afghan security forces yesterday detained six Taliban-linked suspects in Wardak province. Afghan and coalition forces detained the six individuals during a search of buildings in the Nerkh district.

-- Coalition forces killed 15 insurgents and detained two suspects linked to terrorist activities in Helmand province Nov. 11. Coalition forces found a woman and two children dead in a collapsed building, along with several militants and their weapons. “We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased,” Belcher said. “When militants knowingly engage coalition forces with innocent people in the background, it only shows the extremists’ complete disregard for innocent lives. Coalition members take every precaution possible to protect civilians not taking part in hostilities from harm.”

-- Coalition forces and Afghan soldiers and police saved the lives of six citizens after a suicide-bomber attack that killed the bomber and injured five men and a child in Gereshk, in Helmand province, Nov. 10. Afghan soldiers and police quickly formed security cordons after the blast. The causalities were taken to a local medical facility for treatment.

-- Also on Nov. 10, Afghan soldiers and police and coalition forces defeated a group of Taliban insurgents during a firefight in the Khas Oruzgan district of Oruzgan province. The combined forces gave chase after they forced the enemy out of civilian residents’ homes. “It is simply deplorable how the Taliban try to put innocent Afghan citizens in harm’s way,” Belcher said. “Fortunately, highly trained (Afghan forces) cleared the houses, saving Afghan lives.”

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

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