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Coalition, Afghan Forces Kill Taliban Fighters

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces killed several Taliban fighters and captured three insurgents near Tarin Kowt village in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province today.

The combined force was conducting a reconnaissance patrol when Taliban fighters engaged them with small-arms fire. Forces returned small-arms and machine-gun fire, quickly putting the enemy on the defensive. The insurgents attempted to break contact and moved into a nearby compound.

The insurgents re-engaged coalition elements with a large volume of small-arms fire. The Afghan and coalition forces patrol employed small-arms fire and close-air support, killing several Taliban insurgents and wounding three others during the engagement. The three wounded fighters were treated by coalition medics and turned over to Afghan security forces.

“This is an excellent example of the (Afghan national security forces) and coalition forces routing the enemy and protecting Afghan citizens,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “The enemy tried to hide behind innocent civilians, but the ANSF and coalition forces took extensive precautions to avoid injuring non-combatants and prevent the insurgents from committing future atrocities.”

In operations yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces conducted an operation in Kunar province to capture suspected al Qaeda foreign fighter facilitators reported to be in the area.

While conducting a search of compounds in the Khas Konar district, forces killed an armed militant barricaded in one of the compound’s buildings who posed an imminent threat to the combined force, officials said.

After hostilities ceased, Afghan and coalition forces continued their search of the buildings on the compound recovering the deceased militant’s weapon and ammunition, which were removed to prevent further use by militant forces.

The combined force also detained a suspected militant during the course of operations. The individual will be questioned as to his involvement with foreign fighters and extremist activities.

“Al Qaeda’s influence in Afghanistan is deteriorating,” Belcher said. “Afghan and coalition forces will continue to apply pressure until they are no longer a destabilizing entity in Afghanistan.”

Also yesterday, coalition forces conducted an operation to detain militants by searching compounds in the Gelan district of Ghazni province.

While conducting a search of the compound, coalition forces received sniper fire from a militant in the area. Coalition forces returned fire, killing the assailant. During the exchange, several other militants fled the compound taking up fighting positions outside the compound area. Coalition forces engaged the militants with a combination of small arms and accurate conventional munitions killing several militants in the process.

After hostilities ceased, coalition forces continued their search of the buildings on the compound and detained two suspected militants.

“Militant extremists will find it extremely difficult to operate in Afghanistan,” Belcher said. “Coalition forces will ensure they will find no safe haven to carry out attacks against the people of Afghanistan.”

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

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