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Afghanistan Firefight Leaves Two Soldiers Dead

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2003 – Two U.S. soldiers were killed and a third was wounded Aug. 31 during initial contact with enemy fighters northwest of Shkin in Afghanistan's Paktika province.

U.S. Central Command officials said the wounded soldier was in stable condition, pending medical evacuation to Bagram Air Base from a treatment facility at Salerno, north of Shkin.

A quick-reaction force responded from Shkin firebase, and two A-10 Thunderbolt II jets left Bagram to provide close-air support, but did not use their weapons. Four enemy fighters were killed in the engagement, which lasted about 90 minutes. CENTCOM officials said the total size of the enemy force is not known.

The names of the soldiers are being withheld until their families are notified.

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