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Troops in Afghanistan Kill Militants, Detain Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2008 – With help from coalition troops, Afghan security forces killed two militants and detained two others today in the Shindand district of western Afghanistan’s Herat province, military officials said.

During the early morning raid, Afghan army commandos targeted a safe house used by a suspected roadside-bomb cell operating in the Zer-e-koh Valley. The safe house served as a storage facility for weapons, munitions and assembled bombs.

Militants engaged the commandos from multiple positions, and the Afghan soldiers responded with precision fire, killing two militants. The commandos detained two other militants and recovered Taliban-related documents, AK-47 assault rifles, ammunition and ammunition-carrying vests.

During the operation, forces safeguarded 42 men, women and children, officials said, and the commandos met with village leadership afterward to explain the operation and methods used.

In an operation targeting the Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin network in the Tagab district of Kapisa province yesterday, coalition forces searched a compound looking for a commander in the terrorist group known to move weapons and foreign fighters into the region and believed to have conducted attacks against civilians and military. The troops searched the compound without incident, and protected 10 women and 20 children while detaining four suspected militants, officials said.

Also yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces killed four militants in the Nar Surkh district of southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province. The combined forces were conducting a combat security patrol when militants attacked from a wooded area, using small-arms and machine-gun fire. Forces responded, killing four attackers.

In the same district the day before, Afghan and coalition forces used mortar fire to kill 10 militants who attacked a coalition base with rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire.

No coalition or Afghan forces or civilians were hurt in the operations, U.S. Forces Afghanistan officials said.

“Afghan national security forces and coalition forces continue working together against the militants,” said Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, chief spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry. “Our cooperation provides better security for the people of Afghanistan.”

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases and a joint news release from U.S. Forces Afghanistan and the Afghan Defense Ministry.)

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