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Coalition Forces Under Attack, 18 Enemy Killed, Action Continues

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2003 – U.S. Special Forces and Afghan militia troops are engaged in heavy fighting against rogue guerrillas near the town of Spin Boldak, a Defense Department official said today.

The coalition force was clearing a compound yesterday outside the town when it came under enemy small-arms fire at about 11 a.m. Jan. 27, said military spokesman Col. Roger King at Bagram Air Base.

"Coalition forces returned fired killing one, wounding one and detaining a third," he said. The detainee told U.S. personnel that as many as 80 more armed men were hiding several kilometers north in the Adi Ghar Mountains.

Army AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships went to investigate and came under fire from enemy ground forces when they reached the search area. Quick reaction forces from the 82nd Airborne Division were then dispatched and found enemy fighters hiding in a series of caves.

There were reports of repeated gun battles as Air Force B-1 bombers along with coalition F-16s and AC-130 Spectre gunships pounded enemy positions overnight with 500- and 2000-pound bombs and other munitions. The fighting continues.

Coalition forces early on reported killing 18 attackers. So far, there have been no reports of coalition casualties.

The town of Spin Boldak, in southeastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, was once a Taliban stronghold.

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