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Forces Kill 19 Militants, Detain 11 in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2008 – Coalition and Afghan forces killed 19 armed militants, detained 11 suspects and destroyed weapons in Afghanistan in recent days, military officials reported.

Combined forces killed 17 insurgents during an air assault operation in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province yesterday.

The combined force aimed the assault at a known insurgent safe haven to interdict enemy supplies and fighters. Insurgents in multiple locations fired on forces with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. Troops returned fire, killing 17 militants. Forces also discovered and destroyed several small weapons caches on site. The stockpiles contained ammunition and bomb-making materials.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan yesterday, coalition forces detained eight suspected militants, including a wanted individual, during an operation aimed at the Haqqani terrorist organization leadership in Paktika province.

Forces targeted a compound in the Orgun district, where military officials believed a Haqqani commander was planning and conducting attacks against local civilians, the Afghan government and coalition forces.

These apprehensions come at a time when recent intelligence indicated that militants in the area were planning attacks against civilians who work with the government and coalition troops in Paktika, Khowst and Paktika provinces, military officials said.

In Ghazni a day earlier, coalition forces detained three suspected militants, including a local Taliban commander, military officials said.

Troops caught the military leader at a compound in the Waghez district in the Nov. 21 operation. The suspect is known to be in direct contact with senior Taliban leaders in the region who facilitate the movement of foreign fighters and coordinate terrorist activities, military officials said.

In Afghanistan on Nov. 20, coalition forces killed two armed militants, and mistakenly killed a civilian during a raid in Zabul province. Troops injured four other civilians during a clearing operation. Forces provided medical care and compensation to the families of the civilian casualties.

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

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