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Afghan, Coalition Forces Kill 11 in Southern, Western Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2009 – Afghan and coalition forces killed 11 insurgents in separate firefights March 27 in southern and western Afghanistan, military officials said.

Forces killed six of the enemy fighters in a nighttime raid to degrade terrorist networks in the Nahr Surk district of northern Helmand province. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound that housed known insurgents. When the assault force arrived at the targeted location, militants positioned south of the compound immediately began attacking the force using small-arms fire. The forces returned fire and called for supporting fire. Four of the insurgents were killed.

Having eliminated the immediate threats, the assault force proceeded to the target, meeting resistance from militants inside the compound’s buildings.

Aware that women and children may be inside, Afghan forces called out for noncombatants to leave the buildings, but none complied. The assault force attempted to clear a building where two militants had barricaded themselves behind women and children. When the assault force encountered the armed militants, they killed them without harming the noncombatants.

As they continued to clear the compound, the force began receiving small-arms fire from multiple barricaded shooters inside another building. The assault force proceeded to clear the rest of the compound without incident. Nine women and 20 children were protected during the firefight. One child received a minor injury and received immediate care from a coalition medic, with no further treatment required.

Earlier in the day in Oruzgan province, Afghan National Army soldiers, assisted by coalition forces, killed five armed militants and destroyed three homemade bombs.

The force was conducting a reconnaissance patrol in the Shahidi Hassas district in an area known to have a heavy insurgent presence when they were attacked with small-arms and mortar fire.

Once it was determined that the area was clear of civilians, the combined forces returned fire and called for close-air support while maneuvering toward the enemies' position, killing the five militants.

During a search of the area, Afghan soldiers discovered three homemade bombs and safely destroyed them in place. No coalition forces or civilian casualties were reported.

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

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