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Militants Die in U.S. Air Strikes in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, June 19, 2005 – An unprovoked attack on a coalition patrol today left 15 to 20 militants dead in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.

The patrol reported coming under small-arms and rocket-propelled-grenade fire, which pinned the unit down northwest of Gereshk, in Helmand province. U.S. airplanes and attack helicopters engaged the enemy.

Initial battle-damage assessments indicate 15 to 20 enemies died and an enemy vehicle was destroyed, according to a news release from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.

"When these criminals engage coalition forces, they do so at considerable risk. We will close with and destroy those that stand against Afghan and coalition forces at every opportunity," U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force 76, said.

No coalition personnel were injured in the incident, officials said.

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