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Afghan Commandos Liberate Hostages, Detain Militants, Destroy Bomb

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2009 – Afghan commandos liberated three Taliban hostages, detained six armed militants and destroyed a roadside bomb in recent operations, military officials reported.

At a vehicle checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Farah province yesterday, a vehicle approached a combined forces checkpoint. The driver failed to heed warnings to stop and attempted to breech the checkpoint, so Afghan commandos opened fire.

One wounded militant was treated by Afghan commandos and coalition forces medics for minor injuries and was taken to a local clinic for further treatment. He was reported to be in stable condition. The commandos detained five others and confiscated an AK-47 assault rifle.

Occupants of a second vehicle were seen trying to discard weapons as they approached the checkpoint. Commandos searched their vehicle and found bomb-making materials, three AK-47s and a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher with three rounds and four boosters. Three militants were detained.

Three occupants of the first vehicle were discovered to be hostages being held for ransom. One of the men was a local shepherd who insurgents had planned to execute. The other two are a father and son, one of whom was forced to drive the vehicle. All three hostages were released.

In other news, Afghan commandos assisted by coalition forces destroyed a roadside bomb in Paktia province’s Zormat district Feb. 10.

The combined forces were conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol when the commandos discovered the bomb, made from a pressure plate and a container filled with explosive material.

After searching the area, the commandos destroyed the bomb in place. No military or civilian casualties were reported.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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