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Five Enemy Fighters Killed, Four Captured in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2007 – Coalition and Afghan forces killed five enemy fighters and detained four others in Afghanistan during the past three days, military officials reported.

Afghan and coalition forces captured a man this morning while raiding a house in the Tani district of Khowst province. Inside the house, combined forces netted AK-47 assault rifles and military-style load-bearing vests.

Credible evidence led the forces to the detainee, a suspected operative in the Haqqani network, responsible for facilitating suicide bombing attacks in the province, military officials said.

“Facilitators like this are simply cowards, exploiting impressionable people for their own purposes,” said Army Maj. Christopher Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman.

No shots were fired, and no one was injured during the operation.

While manning a checkpoint 50 miles northeast of Qalat yesterday, Afghan border police and coalition forces engaged three vehicles approaching at high speeds that refused to slow down after appropriate warnings.

Once stopped, eight men exited the vehicles and began firing at the checkpoint. Combined forces returned fire, killing five. The three others managed to escape during the firefight. There were no Afghan civilians in the vehicles, and there were no injuries to Afghan or coalition forces.

“Enemy insurgents are attempting to slip through established security checkpoints to conduct illegal and terrorist activities,” Belcher said. “With the assistance of the Afghan people, Afghan boarder police and coalition forces will be able to put a stop to all insurgent activity in the area.”

Afghan national police and coalition forces detained three well-known improvised explosive device facilitators April 30 during a combat operation targeting a Taliban IED cell northwest of Khowst city in the Saberi district of Khowst province. Combined forces mounted an air assault into Zambar village and nabbed Haji Nazir, Nazir Khan and another individual known only as Latif, in three separate compounds.

The three suspects are believed to be mid-level Taliban leaders involved in Taliban fighter recruiting and financing, and they are the alleged masterminds behind an IED cell operating in the Sabari district, military officials said.

No shots were fired during the successful mission and there were no injuries to any Afghan civilians reported.

“The information gained from these three individuals will assist us in detaining other key Taliban leaders,” Belcher said. “We will continue to pursue and interdict Taliban leaders who threaten the people of Afghanistan.

“Taliban leaders have two choices,” he continued. “Stop fighting and reconcile with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, or face elimination by Afghan national security and coalition forces.”

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

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