Forces Thwart Attack on Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 13, 2009 Enemy fighters fired rockets at two forward operating bases in southeastern Afghanistan overnight, and combined Afghan and coalition forces killed or captured several insurgents in various operations, military officials reported.
The complex attack on forward operating bases Rushmore and Sharana in Paktika province began shortly after midnight and ended when coalition forces responded to the assault.
Coalition aircrews, airborne at the time of the strikes, identified the rocket-launch site and called for fire to suppress the attack. Six insurgents fled the site and were killed when forces used counter-battery and overhead aircraft fires to engage them. Two people not involved in the attack were killed and four others were injured during the battle.
In Khost province, a number of civilians reportedly were injured when a homemade bomb detonated outside Forward Operating Base Salerno. Military officials said they’re trying to determine the details of the overnight attack.
In other news, Afghan and coalition forces detained a suspected insurgent overnight in eastern Afghanistan during a mission to disrupt Haqqani terrorist network operations in Paktia province. The detainee is believed to be tied to the Haqqani and Uzbekistan-based Islamic Jihadist Union terrorist groups.
Elsewhere, Afghan army commandos, assisted by coalition special operations forces, killed five militants and wounded six others yesterday after an Afghan supply convoy was attacked in the Shindand district of Herat province. Armed militants attacked with small arms, heavy machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The convoy fired back with small arms and requested additional support.
As the Afghan-led support element moved to assist the convoy, another group of armed militants attacked from fields and from compounds in the village on the opposite riverbank. The team returned fire and requested air support, but no bombs were dropped because of the large number of civilians being held by militants within the village.
Forces moved villagers away from the ongoing firefight and offered medical attention, but village elders reported no civilians had been hurt. They also pointed out the locations from which militants were fighting.
Acting on the information, the combined element moved to clear the compounds while the commando-led team moved to provide additional assistance to the convoy and engage the armed militants while the convoy maneuvered away from the firefight.
Five militants were killed, and six were wounded. Medics treated the wounded enemy combatants, who were transferred to a local hospital.
The Afghan supply convoy continued and was struck by two roadside bombs a short distance down the road. One vehicle was destroyed, but there were no casualties. The combined forces cleared and secured the village, consolidated with the other teams and returned to base.
(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)