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Afghan, Coalition Forces Stymie Terrorist Attacks in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2005 – Afghan and coalition forces stopped several terrorist attacks on Aug. 5 and 6 when they destroyed three improvised explosive devices in southern and eastern Afghanistan, U.S. military officials said today.

The first IED was found near Mehtar Lam, in Laghman province, and transferred to a nearby company of Marines. The Marines rendered the device safe before transporting it to a U.S. military base, where it will be destroyed, officials said.

The second IED was discovered in southern Afghanistan. Afghan police forces disabled the device, made from an anti-tank mine, before turning it over to U.S. paratroopers assigned to Task Force Bayonet. Engineers safely destroyed that IED a short time later, officials said.

The third IED was discovered south of the city of Ghazni, in Ghazni province, by a coalition patrol. The patrol rendered the device safe and transferred it to a nearby base for destruction, officials said.

Iin southern Afghanistan Aug. 6, the ANP disrupted an enemy ambush in the city of Qalat, in Zabul province. Afghan police forces reportedly killed one enemy combatant in the brief resultant firefight. One ANP officer was wounded in the attack; he was transported to Kandahar Airfield for treatment, officials said.

According to U.S. military officials, the incident occurred when enemy forces ambushed an Afghan police patrol with small-arms fire. The enemy forces immediately fled the area, but were pursued by Afghan National Police, who were assisted by U.S. military force. These enemy forces remain at large, officials said.

U.S. military units in Afghanistan are conducting operations designed to deny sanctuary and freedom of movement to enemy forces, officials said. "The forces that attack those charged with protecting Afghans from crime and terror are trying to prevent Afghanistan from having a bright future," U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force 76, said.

"Afghan forces -- be they army, police or security -- are striving to ensure this nation is free of terror and violence so that Afghans might know peace and prosperity," he added.

In other news from Afghanistan, a suicide bomber was detained as he attempted to detonate a series of explosives attached to his body at a U.S. base south of Salerno, near the Pakistani border, Aug. 6, officials said.

The potential bomber attempted to enter a U.S. facility in the region under the guise of needing medical attention. At the gate he produced a grenade, which he attempted to detonate, officials said. But the grenade failed to detonate, and security forces apprehended the man. The suicide bomber also had two anti-personnel mines and a second grenade attached to his body. He is now in the custody of Afghan forces, officials said.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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