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Coalition, Afghans Team Up to Find, Rescue Election Workers

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2004 – In the week following the election of Hamid Karzai as president of Afghanistan, the multinational coalition and the NATO International Security Assistance Force are working with his government to rescue three election workers abducted Oct. 29, a military spokesman said today in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The three workers were kidnapped in the capital. "This is another example of how extremist groups continue to target innocent people whose sole reason for being here in Afghanistan is to assist in creating a secure, peaceful environment for all Afghans," said Army Maj. Scott Nelson. "We find this incident, and others like (it), totally unacceptable, and they have no place in a civilized society." Nelson is the spokesman for Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.

In the meantime, operations continue in the country. Coalition forces and units of the Afghan National Army killed an enemy insurgent in Khowst province, Nelson said. No coalition or ANA soldiers were injured, he added.

On Oct. 28, coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda facilitator southwest of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province. Enemy forces engaged coalition soldiers with automatic weapons and small-arms fire, and coalition forces killed five enemy and detained nine, Nelson said.

An improvised explosive device exploded Oct. 27 near a joint coalition and ANA patrol near Qalat in Zabol province, Nelson reported today. Three U.S. soldiers and one ANA soldier were wounded. All are stable and expected to recover, Nelson said.

Coalition forces discovered three weapons caches this week; one was northeast of Kandahar, another was near Ghazni, and the third was in Hilmand province, Nelson said.

The 18th recruiting center for the ANA opened Oct. 27 in Kunar province, Nelson said. The goal, he added, is to have a center in every province, with two in Kabul province.

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Combined Forces Command Afghanistan

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