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Coalition Troops Support Afghan Forces in Arrests, Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 – Coalition and Afghan forces arrested four people this morning during an operation targeting a known terrorist safe house, military officials reported.

The combined force arrested four military-age men with suspected ties to extremist groups believed to be involved in facilitating the movement of anti-government fighters. Official said some were discovered with large amounts of ammunition and currency.

Afghan forces, escorted by the local imam, questioned some men who had recently arrived from Pakistan and were staying in the local mosque. Coalition forces remained outside the mosque during the operation.

No shots were fired during the operation, military officials said, and no damage or injuries were reported by civilians or by the combined force.

In other news from Afghanistan, Afghan forces, supported by coalition troops, recovered high-powered sniper rifles and killed at least two terrorists during an operation March 12. The operation targeted a known Taliban weapons facilitator, officials said.

The terrorist suspects fired at the combined force from within the compound, where the sniper rifles were found.

The buildings were destroyed when the terrorists continued engaging the Afghan and coalition forces.

Credible information led the combined force to the compound in connection with the weapons trafficker, who has been linked to the movement of anti-aircraft weapons in southern Afghanistan, officials said.

Officials added that the area has seen numerous direct and indirect fire attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in recent weeks.

Two Afghan soldiers and a coalition soldier were injured during the assault. The three suffered non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. No civilian casualties were reported.

Officials also announced that Combined Joint Task Force 76 has been officially redesignated as Combined Joint Task Force 82. This redesignation reflects changes in command relationships resulting from the transfer of Afghanistan operations to NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force and the inactivation of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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