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Troops in Afghanistan Detain Suspected Militants

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 26, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces conducted an operation yesterday to detain Taliban extremists in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.

The combined Afghan and coalition force searched compounds in the Chaparhar district targeting Taliban facilitators believed to be operating in the area. The force detained three individuals suspected of having links to Taliban networks during the course of operations.

"Taliban extremist networks face mounting pressure due to the successful operations conducted by Afghan and coalition forces," said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. "That pressure will only intensify as Afghan and coalition forces continue to carry out their mission to make Afghanistan a safe, secure and stable environment for the Afghan people."

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, insurgents attacked on the holy Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha, wounding four Afghan National Army soldiers in Shah Wali Kot, Kandahar province, Dec. 21.

Afghan national security forces, assisted by coalition forces, were conducting a security patrol in the area when insurgents engaged with small-arms, machine-gun and indirect fire. The combined force positively identified enemy mortar positions and rushed to engage with small-arms and machine-gun fire.

Insurgents set up fighting positions in two nearby structures to confront the advancing troops. The insurgents fired mortars, wounding four Afghan soldiers. Afghan and coalition forces quickly secured the area while providing first aid to the injured soldiers. The Afghan forces medically evacuated the injured soldiers to a nearby medical treatment facility.

The Afghan-led force called in two air strikes using precision-guided munitions to eliminate the enemy fighting positions. The combined force continued to clear the rest of the wadi.

“It is sad that insurgents attacked on the holy Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha,” Belcher said. “The insurgents proved once again that they have no respect for Muslims or the religious holidays by attacking today.”

In other news, coalition forces gave an 11-day-old boy a blood transfusion at a military treatment facility in Tarin Kowt district, Oruzgan province, Dec. 22, saving his life.

Family members initially brought the newborn, suffering from severe blood loss, to an Afghan national security forces and coalition forces outpost in Shahidi Hasas district. Coalition medical personnel say the baby’s umbilical cord was cut too short following his birth.

“The baby was bleeding from the belly button. By the time he came to our clinic, the bleeding had stopped, but he had a low body temperature of only 94 degrees,” a coalition forces soldier explained. “We provided a transfusion, and now the child is doing very well.” The baby and his father are expected to return home in the next day or two, officials said.

This is the second time in less than a month that coalition medical personnel have saved the life of an Afghan child in Oruzgan.

On Nov. 30, an unresponsive 18-month-old child was brought to a combat outpost near Cahar Cineh by an Afghan doctor and family members. According to the child’s father, the baby would not sleep, so its mother gave the child a hashish pill to help it sleep, an accepted custom in Afghanistan.

Coalition medics worked throughout the night with the Afghan doctor to treat the child. The family was able to take the child home two days later.

(From Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Joint Task Force 82
NATO International Security Assistance Force


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