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Joint Forces Kill 20 Militants, Destroy Bomb Plant in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2009 – Afghan soldiers, aided by coalition forces, killed 20 armed insurgents in a firefight in southern Afghanistan today, near where they destroyed a bomb-making facility yesterday, military officials reported.

Afghan soldiers, advised by coalition forces, have been on reconnaissance patrols for two days in Helmand province’s Kajaki district where insurgents are known to operate.

While conducting a dismounted patrol today, the Afghan-led forces were attacked by dozens of armed militants with small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The troops returned fire, causing the enemy to withdraw to secondary fighting positions.

The forces positively identified the enemy fighting position as the militants regrouped. Once the forces ensured there were no noncombatants in the area, a precision strike was called, killing 20 militants.

No Afghan, coalition or noncombatant injuries were reported.

“The [Afghan National Army] soldiers and coalition forces work side by side in pursuit of militants who are quickly losing their ability to operate in Helmand province,” Army Col. Greg Julian, U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesman, said.

Afghan and coalition soldiers discovered a bomb-making facility in the area during patrols yesterday. While dismounted to pursue and clear militant fighting positions, the combined units discovered four ready-made explosives and other manufacturing materials.

The Afghan soldiers safely destroyed the facility to prevent future attacks.

(From U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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