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Coalition, Afghan Forces Kill 11 Militants in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2009 – Afghan and coalition forces killed 11 militants, detained suspected militants, and netted drugs and weapons in operations over the past week in Afghanistan, military officials reported.

In Lowgar province’s Baraki district today, Afghan and coalition forces conducted a raid to find and detain a suspected Taliban weapons smuggler. The suspect is believed to be tied to a commander responsible for attacks on Afghan civilians.

During a compound search, the forces asked the building occupants to leave. The occupants of one of the compounds failed to comply. The forces entered the compound and saw several men hiding behind women. The forces moved the women to a safe area and detained six suspected militants. They also found an explosive device, which they safely removed. The forces protected 25 women and 12 children during the operation.

Also today, Afghan and coalition forces conducted an assault on two compounds to disrupt the Haqqani terrorist network in Paktia province’s Zadran district, south of Kabul. The combined force searched the compounds. Two suspected militants were detained with no shots fired. The forces protected four women and eight children during the operation.

In operations yesterday:

-- In Kandahar province’s Maywan district, west of Kandahar, Afghan special operations and coalition forces conducted an operation to disrupt a foreign fighter and weapons smuggling network in western Kandahar. Upon arrival, the forces asked noncombatants to leave the buildings. The forces killed five militants who maneuvered on them during the operation. The forces also detained three suspected militants and protected 19 women and 38 children during the operation.

-- Afghan and coalition forces conducted a raid to disrupt the Haqqani terrorist network in Khowst province. The forces detained four suspects and seized an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and 15,000 Pakistan ruppe, which is about $200. Five women and 10 children were protected during the operation.

In March 14 operations:

-- Afghan and coalition forces conducted operations against militants suspected of making bombs in Lowgar province, southwest of Kabul. The forces received information that the militants were staying on a compound in Charkh district. Upon arrival, the forces asked noncombatants to leave the area. Armed militants engaged the forces. Five enemy combatants were killed in the firefight. The forces also seized and destroyed multiple weapons and grenades. Eight women and nine children were protected during the operation.

-- In Kandahar province, west of Kandahar, Afghan special operations forces and coalition forces conducted a raid on a compound used as a storage area and staging site for Taliban operations against coalition forces in Zhari and Panjwayi districts. Led by a civilian’s tip, the combined force arrived at the targeted compound and encountered and killed an armed enemy combatant. The forces also detained 10 suspected militants and destroyed 176 pounds of a potentially explosive material used in the production of homemade bombs. The forces protected 19 women and 29 children during the operation.

-- Afghan army commandos, aided by coalition forces, netted drugs and weapons during a search of an enemy compound in Helmand province’s Nawa district. The commandos seized 20 pounds of black tar heroin in a drug lab, as well as an AK-47 with magazines. Following the search, the villagers told the commandos that the Taliban had been demanding money, food and water from them.

-- In Oruzgan province’s Tarin Kowt district, Afghan National Police, aided by coalition forces, found and destroyed an improvised explosive device cache that contained five large containers of homemade explosives and more than 10 107 mm rockets. Later that day, one of the ANP vehicles struck an IED. The police officers inside the vehicle sustained minor injuries and were able to continue their mission. No other injuries were reported.

In March 11 operations:

-- Afghan National Police arrested two men suspected of attempting to assassinate ANP officers in Paktia province’s Chamkani district. The militants were targeting police officers in response to the arrest of one of their comrades.

-- Also in Chamkani district, a man brought a family member to the national police, informing them that a relative of his had been studying in Pakistan and was prepared to be a suicide bomber. The family member told the ANP he wanted to prevent further bloodshed in the country.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases and joint U.S. Forces Afghanistan-Afghan government news releases.)

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