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Forces in Afghanistan Kill, Detain Militants

American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Oct. 16, 2009 – Afghan and international forces killed militants today in a clash in which a woman and child died in the crossfire, killed several more enemy fighters in a separate operation, and arrested more than a dozen militants yesterday who had set up an illegal checkpoint, military officials reported.

Militants attacked Afghan National Police and an international security force working to interdict suspected militants believed responsible for attacks in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province today. The combined force returned fire, killing two of the attackers, officials said, and found a woman and school-aged girl who apparently were accidently killed in the crossfire when they entered the building.

“Afghanistan continues to be a dangerous place, and we are genuinely sorry when any Afghan civilians are killed,” said Army Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. “Our operational planning tries to prevent any casualties, but our enemy continues to engage our forces without regard for any Afghan civilians in the area. However, I believe our partnership with the Afghan forces conducting patrols such as this will bring more security to this area and prevent more innocent Afghans from being killed or injured.”

In a separate operation today, an Afghan and international security force killed enemy militants and detained several suspected militants during a search in Wardak province for a Taliban commander and his element responsible for recent attacks in the region. The combined force received rocket-propelled grenade fire and returned fire, killing the militants.

In another operation in Paktika province today, several suspected militants were detained after a search of buildings known to be used by a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator and his element. The suspects are believed responsible for financing and supplying weapons and ammunition to other militant groups in the region.

In other news, Afghan and international forces detained more than a dozen suspected militants staging an illegal checkpoint yesterday on a highway in the Urgun district of Paktika province.

Delivery truck drivers informed the combined force that the militants were making them pay taxes.

The detained militants had assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, a body-armor vest and six ammunition belts. The combined force confiscated those items and two vehicles and turned them over to the Afghan National Police.

(From a NATO International Security Assistance Force news release.)

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