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Troops Kill, Detain Militants in Afghanistan Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2008 – Coalition forces killed 10 armed militants and detained 13 suspects during multiple operations aimed at disrupting the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist networks in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar and Khowst provinces yesterday, military officials reported.

In Acheen, six armed militants were killed and 10 suspected militants were detained during a coalition forces operation targeting a regional Taliban commander. Intelligence suggests the man is responsible for coordinating and directing bombing attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and innocent civilians in an effort to destabilize the region, officials said.

As the force approached the compound, multiple groups of armed militants came out of the buildings and attempted to maneuver on the force. One group took up fighting positions on a ridgeline and engaged the force with small-arms fire. Coalition forces engaged two groups of armed militants with precision close-air support. Other groups of militants were not engaged by coalition forces in an effort to protect potentially innocent civilians who may have been among them, officials said.

A search of the compound revealed rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47 assault rifles and other military equipment. Twelve women and 40 children were protected by the force during the operation, officials said.

In the Spera district of Khowst province, coalition forces killed one militant and detained two others while targeting a Haqqani operative believed to coordinate and direct attacks against the Afghan government and coalition forces in the province.

During the operation, the force came under direct fire from inside the compound. Coalition forces attempted to neutralize the threat by returning small-arms fire. Unable to do so, the force used close-air support to protect themselves, officials said. One armed militant was killed and one was wounded as a result of the strike. The wounded militant was treated by coalition medical personnel. A third suspected militant was detained without incident.

In Khowst’s Sabari district, coalition forces targeted a known Haqqani associate who supports and assists with the movement of foreign fighters into the region. He is also suspected of facilitating roadside-bomb attacks in the region.

As the force approached targeted militants, they failed to follow directions and displayed hostile intent. Realizing the threat, the force engaged the militants with small-arms fire, killing three armed men. One suspected militant complied with the force's instructions and was detained without incident.

Elsewhere, Afghan and coalition forces killed two militants and destroyed three roadside bombs during operations Nov. 6 and 7 in the Nahr Surkh district of Helmand province.

The combined forces were on a patrol when they identified two militants attempting to detonate a bomb along the road. As combined forces drew closer, the two militants attacked the patrol with small-arms fire. Afghan and coalition forces responded with small-arms fire, killing the two militants.

A security sweep of the area near the engagement led to the discovery of three command-detonated bombs, all of which were safely detonated on site.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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