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Heavy Fighting In Afghanistan Kills U.S., Afghan Soldiers

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2005 – Two soldiers - one U.S., the other Afghan - were killed today during what the military said was heavy fighting in a small village west of Deh Rawod in Afghanistan's Oruzgan province. Three U.S. servicemembers and an Afghan soldier were wounded, officials said.

One U.S. soldier was taken to Germany for continued treatment, while another was taken to a medical facility at Kandahar Air Base. A third soldier was treated and released. The wounded ANA soldier is expected to recover from his injuries, the military said.

Initial reports indicate that as many as 11 enemy combatants were killed in the fighting, and eight more were captured as Afghan and U.S. forces searched the area of the attack. Four rocket-propelled grenades, two AK-47 assault rifles and a radio were confiscated.

The military said the attack happened while Afghan and U.S. forces were on an early morning patrol to seek enemy activity in the area. An estimated 15 to 30 enemy combatants attacked with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire.

In southern Afghanistan, coalition forces captured seven suspected enemy combatants and continue to search for others responsible for a July 24 attack that killed a U.S. soldier and wounded another. A U.S.-employed Afghan interpreter was wounded in the attack. The military said the initial attack occurred as Afghan and U.S. forces were patrolling along an unpaved road northeast of Gereshk.

In a separate attack July 24, six U.S. servicemembers were wounded after their convoy struck an improvised explosive device northwest of Asadabad in Kunar province. The unit reported receiving small-arms fire immediately after the attack.

U.S. attack aircraft responded to the scene, and artillery fire from a nearby base was directed against suspected enemy positions. The military said U.S. troops searched the area, but it is unknown if any enemy forces were killed or wounded.

The injured were transported to Asadabad and Bagram Air Base in Parwan province for treatment. All six were reported to be in stable condition.

"We are doing everything we can to ensure these wounded men receive the best medical care available," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force 76. "We are aggressively looking for the individuals responsible for this attack. Our thoughts are with the servicemembers, and we pray for their speedy recovery."

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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