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Fighting in Afghanistan Leaves 40 Insurgents Dead

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2005 – Afghan and coalition forces killed about 40 enemies June 21 in fighting southwest of Deh Chopan, Afghanistan, after insurgents attacked with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, military officials reported today.

One Afghan National Police officer was killed and five U.S. soldiers and two Afghan policemen were wounded in the clash. The injuries were not serious and all were transported for treatment at Kandahar Airfield, officials said.

Coalition and Afghan forces were patrolling the area as part of Operation Catania, which is a search-and-attack operation designed to take away enemy safe havens.

Coalition warplanes and attack helicopters hammered enemy positions throughout the evening.

"This mission is a ongoing effort to take away enemy sanctuaries," said Army Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara, Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "We are not letting up on the enemy and will continue to pursue them until the fighting stops. Coalition and Afghan forces will continue to defeat these militants for as long as necessary to ensure the people of Afghanistan remain free of oppression and tyranny."

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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