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Afghan, International Forces Capture, Kill Militants

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2010 – Afghan and international forces killed 10 militants and detained several others in recent operations throughout Afghanistan, and coalition forces found and destroyed several stockpiles of weapons, military officials reported.

Coalition forces killed 10 militants and wounded another during a gun battle last night in Nangarhar province’s Khugyani district. The combined force responded to intelligence of militant activity in the area, and was fired on instantly. The force returned fire and killed two enemy fighters. The troops then called for any remaining militants to come out of hiding. After a period of no response, militants opened fire again. Eight more militants eventually were killed, and another was wounded. The wounded militant was treated and transported to a coalition hospital.

In other operations yesterday:

-- Afghan forces detained two suspected militants east of Marja in Helmand province.

-- In Khost province, a combined force captured a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator responsible for bombing attacks on international forces and Afghan border police. The facilitator surrendered to the joint force without incident and admitted his connection to several bombing networks in the area.

-- Afghan and international forces captured another alleged Haqqani facilitator and another suspected militant in Paktia province. The alleged Haqqani facilitator is believed to responsible for trafficking and purchasing weapons for enemy fighters in the region.

-- Several suspected militants were detained south of Kandahar City by Afghan and international forces in pursuit of a Taliban bomb facilitator.

-- A weapons stockpile was discovered in Helmand province after a tip from a local civilian identified a militant hideout. The weapons included 300 machine-gun rounds and parts of a grenade launcher and rifle.

-- An Afghan patrol in Uruzgan province’s Chorah district netted a cache of rocket-propelled grenades and eight mortar rounds.

In operations April 3:

-- NATO forces detained several people suspected of making and planting roadside bombs after they tried to avoid a security checkpoint in Helmand province. Each suspect was found with large amounts of cash and cell phones, officials said.

-- In Helmand province’s Nad-e-Ali district, Afghan and international forces captured two suspected militants while in pursuit of a Taliban leader in the area. Another operation in the area netted a weapons cache that consisted of a grenade launcher, more than 300 pounds of explosives and other bomb-making materials. A third stockpile yielded 300 machine-gun rounds and 98 anti-aircraft rounds.

-- Another weapons stockpile was found in Farah province during a coalition patrol. More than 60 pounds of ammonium nitrate, six mortar rounds, an anti-personnel mine and other bomb-making materials were found and taken to a nearby coalition outpost.

In other news from Afghanistan, an Army Special Forces patrol was struck by a roadside bomb April 2 in Helmand province. The troops dismounted their vehicles and found and dismantled five more roadside bombs. No civilian or military injuries were reported, officials said.

Also in Helmand province April 2, an Afghan police chief in Gereskh arrested several individuals believed to be connected to a bombing cell responsible for attacks that wounded three Special Forces soldiers the previous day.

The Afghan-police-led operation took place without incident, officials said.

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

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