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Failed Attack Leaves 12 Taliban Dead in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2007 – Afghan national security forces, advised by coalition forces, defeated an insurgent attack yesterday near Regay Village on the east side of the Musa Qalah Wadi in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

The combined force was on a combat patrol when insurgents attacked from multiple compounds and trenches using small-arms fire, 82 mm mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

The Afghan forces repelled the attack with accurate small-arms fire and artillery. When the insurgents reinforced their fighting positions with additional fighters, Afghan forces requested coalition close-air support. Coalition aircraft performed precision air strikes on the insurgents, killing a number of fighters and destroying a truck that was being used as reinforcement transport. Several more insurgents were killed by direct fire during the engagement.

“The Taliban have continued to attack the Afghan national security forces and coalition forces,” said Army Capt. Vanessa R. Bowman, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokeswoman. “The insurgents in the Musa Qalah area are becoming desperate as the (Afghan) and coalition forces continue to find, fix and destroy them along with their (improvised explosive device) facilities and illegal drug labs.”

In other operations in Afghanistan this week:

-- A coalition-contracted helicopter suffered minor damage Aug. 29 when it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while flying over the Kamdesh district in Nuristan province. The aircraft was able to land safely and none of the crew was hurt in the incident. Coalition forces contract private companies to deliver logistical supplies throughout the rugged eastern-Afghanistan countryside. An investigation into the incident is under way.

-- Afghan national security forces, assisted by coalition forces, found and destroyed an insurgent-run drug lab after a brief fight Aug. 29 with Taliban fighters in Khyajehdad Village in the Musa Qalah district of Helmand province. The opium lab was the second of its kind found in a four-day period in the Musa Qalah area. Afghan and coalition forces have been conducting combat patrols in the region for the past week. No Afghan or coalition forces or non-combatants were killed or injured in the operation.

“The Taliban simultaneously lose funding and demonstrate their reprobate lawlessness when (Afghan security forces) discover and destroy their illegal narcotics facilities,” Bowman said. Coalition and Afghan forces will continue to work as a team to eliminate insurgent fighters and their sources of funding, “which threaten peace and stability in Afghanistan,” she added.

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

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