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Combined Forces Protect Civilians, Seize Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2009 – Afghan forces and troops of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force protected civilians from insurgent attacks, seized an enemy weapons stockpile and detained two suspected militants in recent operations in Afghanistan.

Afghan and ISAF forces protected civilians in Nuristan province’s Barge Matal district yesterday after militants launched a series of attacks targeting civilians, a girls’ school and buildings near the district center.

The combined forces maneuvered to engage the militants and requested close-air support during the eight-hour battle. Two Afghan soldiers and an Afghan police officer died in the battle.

One civilian was wounded by enemy fire, and several militants were killed during the fighting, officials said.

In Khost province Aug. 24, Afghan border police and ISAF soldiers seized a sizable weapons cache and detained two militants.

Border police officers and paratroopers from the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, conducted a focused mission specifically targeting roadside-bomb makers and facilitators.

"We were able to accomplish the mission without any escalation of force," said Army 2nd Lt. Travis Ward, a 2-377th platoon leader. "We were able to surprise the enemy, so when one militant tried to run, he didn't get far. Being able to surprise the enemy in this area is often difficult, due to their system of early warning networks."

The combined forces searched the detained militants’ home and discovered several weapons caches, some stored inside the walls.

The munitions included a variety of small arms, nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition, blasting caps and various bomb-making materials.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force and Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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