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Coalition Kills 11 in Shootout With Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 31, 2008 – Coalition forces killed 11 terrorists after coming under fire yesterday during an operation in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, military officials reported.

The operation in Sorubi district, northeast of the city of Kabul, targeted a man wanted for trafficking weapons and fighters into and throughout the Uzbin and Tagab valleys in Kabol and Kapisa provinces.

The suspect is believed to be a commander in Hizb-iIslami Gulbuddin organization, or HIG, which is known to coordinate and direct terrorist attacks in the region. According to the U.S. Institute of Peace, HIG was one of the major guerilla groups operating in the war against the Soviets in the 1970s and 1980s and has long-standing ties with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

As coalition forces approached yesterday, multiple armed militants came out of the building and rushed to the nearby mountainside in an apparent attempt to evade the force and to occupy the higher terrain. Believing the targeted HIG commander was with the group, coalition forces pursued the militants and were engaged with small-arms fire. The forces returned fire and killed two of the militants. Still receiving fire, the troops engaged the militants with close-air precision munitions and killed the remaining nine.

After the operation, an allegation of civilian casualties was brought to the attention of coalition forces. An initial review of the operational reports indicate only enemy forces were engaged during the operation, officials said.

(From a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release.)

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