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Forces Kill, Capture Militants in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2009 – Combined international and Afghan forces conducted multiple operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan today, killing and capturing numerous insurgents, military officials reported.

In two operations in Kandahar province today, combined forces killed several militants and detained others while pursuing two Taliban commanders -- one in the Shah Wali Kot district, the other in the Zhari district -- after intelligence sources reported militant activity.

In Zhari, as the security force moved toward a compound, several militants left the area. Later, the security force killed several militants after receiving hostile fire and detained two others.

In Wardak province today, a combined force detained several suspected militants, including a Taliban leader. The combined force moved to the Sayyidabad district after intelligence sources suspected militant activity in a compound there. After searching the compound, the force detained several suspects, including the targeted man.

In Khost province, a combined force detained a group of suspected militants while searching for a Haqqani terrorist network commander. The force closed in on a rural area of the Sabari district after intelligence indicated militant activity in a compound. The militants were detained following an extensive search.

In a combined operation last night, an Afghan-international security force killed several militants and detained another in Ghazni province. The force went to a series of compounds in the Andar district after intelligence sources confirmed militant activities there. The security force killed several armed enemy fighters who resisted.

Several weapons were found, including assault rifles, grenades, 40 mm rounds and an anti-personnel mine.

Eight women and 16 children were protected during the operation, officials said.

Numerous weapons were found in Afghanistan today. Afghan civilians in Paktika province led Afghan National Police to a 107 mm rocket that the police then diffused. In Ghazni province, coalition forces found a 107 mm rocket that Polish engineers helped to destroy. In Helmand province, a combined force found a cache of bomb-making materials that contained six 60 mm mortar rounds and other components. In Herat province, coalition forces found unexploded ordnance in two locations, including a 107 mm rocket, three 82 mm mortars, an 81 mm mortar and a hand grenade.

In operations yesterday:

-- A combined force killed two militants in Wardak province while pursuing a small group of Taliban. The force searched a compound near the village of Andar in the Nerkh district after intelligence sources determined the location of militant activities. The security force came under fire, returned fire and killed the militants.

-- In Helmand province, a combined force detained a small group of militants, including a Taliban weapons and narcotics trafficker believed to help carry out attacks in his district.

On Dec. 19, an Afghan-led unit discovered a large weapons cache in Kandahar province’s Panjwa district. The unit discovered about 140 pounds of homemade explosives, including 6 pounds of ammonium nitrate, materials for a pressure plate and detonation cord. The material was impounded for evidence. No one was injured in the operation.

In Dec. 18 operations:

-- An international security force air strike killed several militants at a mountaintop fighting position in Paktika province during pursuit of a Haqqani commander responsible for attacks in the area. A security detachment searched the fighting position after the strike to assess damage and recovered a machine gun, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with rounds, an assault rifle and a pistol.

-- A combined force detained two suspected militants in Kandahar province while pursuing a Taliban commander responsible for attacks in the area.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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