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Taliban Suspects Killed, Captured

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces killed several enemy fighters and detained three suspects in operations around Afghanistan over the past two days, military officials reported.

Afghan and coalition forces killed a suspected militant and detained three others during an operation early today against a suspected Taliban safe house. The forces killed the adult male when he attempted to engage them during a search of the location.

Credible intelligence led the forces to the location in Paktika’s Mata Khan district suspected of housing local Taliban and foreign fighters responsible for facilitating suicide bombers and organizing improvised-explosive-device attacks.

A search of the buildings revealed a video camera and various tapes of “martyr” operations in addition to an AK-47 rifle, a shotgun and two pistols. The weapons were removed to a safe distance and destroyed. The detainees will be questioned as to their involvement in militant activities.

Elsewhere, soldiers from 3rd Company, 2nd Kandak, 1st Brigade, 209th Afghan National Army Corps, along with coalition forces, identified and engaged enemy fighters on a ridgeline outside the village of Kowndalan, in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, yesterday.

After engaging the enemy, the combined patrol climbed the ridgeline in search of other enemy fighters. The soldiers discovered several dead enemy fighters, several rocket shells, and clothing.

“Taliban fighters are no match for Afghan national security and coalition forces,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “We will intensify our operations to rid Afghanistan of all Taliban fighters who harm innocent Afghan civilians and threaten the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”

In another operation, elements of 2nd Brigade, 205th Afghan National Army Corps, and coalition forces were ambushed by an unknown number of enemy fighters while conducting a combat patrol near the village of Kudak, in the Deh Chopan district of Zabul province, June 12.

Afghan and coalition forces repelled the initial enemy attack with small-arms fire and then requested coalition close-air support to repel five more attacks on their patrol over the next five hours. A significant number of enemy fighters were killed during the battle.

Elsewhere, in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, 1st Brigade, 205th ANA Corps soldiers, teamed with coalition forces, identified an unknown number of enemy fighters placing improvised explosive devices in a high-traffic area near the village of Safi. After ensuring no Afghan civilians were in the area, Afghan and coalition forces fired artillery rounds on the enemy location, killing several of the fighters.

“Afghan National Army Corps soldiers and coalition forces will continue to pursue and defeat all enemy fighters who threaten the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” Belcher said. “The efforts of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will not be derailed by enemy fighters.”

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

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