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International, Afghan Team Investigates Air Strike

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2010 – A team composed of officials from the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Afghanistan’s security forces is working to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding an operation today in which Afghan soldiers were killed and injured.Video

Early this morning in the Andar district of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, an ISAF patrol observed a group of individuals thought to be insurgents. An ISAF aircrew engaged the group with a precision-guided munition and after the engagement ISAF learned the individuals were Afghan soldiers.

"This loss of life is tragic, and we offer condolences to all those who lost loved ones," said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, ISAF Joint Command spokeswoman. "We work extremely hard to coordinate and synchronize our operations, and we deeply regret the loss of lives from our Afghan partners."

In other news from Afghanistan, combined Afghan-international security forces conducted operations in Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces last night.

An Afghan-international security force killed two armed individuals and detained several suspected insurgents in the Nahr-e Shahi district of Balkh province last night. The team was pursuing a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator reportedly involved in planning upcoming attacks in Mazar-e Sharif, and who has had direct contact with senior Haqqani leadership in Pakistan.

As Afghan and coalition forces began to search the area, they encountered two armed men who displayed hostile intent. The combined force instructed the men, through an interpreter, to lay their weapons on the ground, but they did not comply and were killed.

A separate Afghan-international security force detained several suspected insurgents outside Kandahar city last night while pursuing a Taliban commander who is a trafficker of weapons and roadside bombs throughout Kandahar province.

Another Afghan-international security force detained several suspected insurgents in Nangarhar province’s Khugyani district last night while pursuing a Taliban commander who facilitates foreign fighters in the district.

The commander had direct contact with a Taliban commander detained by the security force July 3. He also was directly linked to the overall Taliban religious leader of Khugyani district and associated with the recent influx of Lashkar-e Tayyiba terrorist organization operatives into the province.

Last night in the Yahya Khel district of Paktika province, an Afghan-international force came under small-arms and rocket-propelled-grenade fire. After positively identifying the insurgents, the combined force requested air support, and a coalition aircraft engaged the insurgents with a precision-guided munition. Several insurgents were killed, and several others were detained.

The insurgents fired at the combined force from an area near an unmarked mosque, and the windows of the unmarked mosque were broken during the engagement. The patrol found six hand grenades, three assault rifles, a sniper rifle, a rocket-propelled grenade and a book on how to make roadside bombs.

There were no reported civilian casualties, and officials from the combined force are discussing the incident with local elders and government officials.

 

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