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Afghan Forces Kill Senior Enemy Commander, Several Fighters

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2007 – Afghan security forces killed a top-ranking enemy commander, identified as Malawi Abdul Manan, along with several other enemy fighters in Afghanistan’s Khost province Oct. 28, officials announced today.

Afghan soldiers spotted 12 enemy fighters attempting to infiltrate from Pakistan near a border checkpoint in the Spira district. They set up an ambush, engaged the fighters with small-arms fire, and killed several, including the infamous Abdul Manan.

In addition to leading a large contingent of militants, Manan also was responsible for the movement of both insurgent fighters and weapons across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Originally from Kandahar province, Abdul Manan later became the senior Haqqani commander of enemy fighters in the Paktia, Paktika and Khost provinces of eastern Afghanistan and was compared to the late Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah Lang, killed by Afghan and coalition forces in May, for his span of control, influence and corruption

“The death of Abdul Manan is a tremendous blow for the enemy and a great success by the Afghan national security forces here in Afghanistan,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “We are glad to see this important player removed from the picture here in eastern Afghanistan. He was a criminal and an enemy of the Afghan people. His death is huge setback, which will send the enemy into a tailspin. It will slow their ability to conduct attacks and the (Afghan national security forces) and coalition forces will be ready to take full advantage of their confusion.”

In operations today in Afghanistan, national forces supported by a small team of coalition troops raided a compound in Amber Khaneh in the Bati Kot district of Nangarhar province, resulting in the death of a militant.

While resisting multiple requests to surrender, the militant barricaded himself in a room. Unbeknownst to Afghan forces, his family was barricaded in the room with him.

It wasn’t until after the hostilities had stopped and the team had performed a search of the room that they found two children dead. A wounded adult woman and another child were also found. The injured family members are being treated at a nearby coalition medical facility.

The team was acting on credible intelligence reports that improvised-explosive-device and suicide-bomb facilitators were there. The team began receiving small-arms fire after they entered the compound, and they returned fire.

“It is regrettable when innocent lives are put at risk by militant forces,” Belcher said. “Our sincerest condolences go out to the families of the deceased and wounded.”

After completing a search of the area, three people were detained and remain in custody of Afghan authorities.

Also today, Afghan and coalition forces engaged and killed several Taliban fighters near the Tarin Kowt district of Oruzgan province.

The combined force was conducting a reconnaissance patrol to protect the establishment of an Afghan security checkpoint when they surprised Taliban fighters setting up mortar positions. Forces engaged these fighters, killing several Taliban insurgents and causing the remaining enemy fighters to flee.

“The Afghan national security forces caught the enemy off guard before they could cause any injury to the ANSF, coalition forces or Afghan citizens,” Belcher said. “The increased number of attacks by the Taliban in recent days is a clear sign of their desperation.”

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

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