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Troops in Afghanistan Combat Militants

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2009 – Coalition and Afghan forces conducted operations against militants and defeated them today in Afghanistan, military officials said.

Combined forces killed several militants in a firefight in Paktika province during a mission to capture a Taliban commander operating in the northern region of the province.

In the area’s Mata Khan district, forces identified a vehicle carrying the wanted Taliban commander and other suspected militants at a remote location near Abd Ol Kala village.

When the combined force approached the militants’ location, the armed combatants began firing on the force from a grove of trees. Forces returned fire and called for close-air support to suppress the enemy attack, ending the engagement in less than an hour. All six enemy combatants died in the fight.

In a separate operation in Wardak province, coalition and Afghan forces killed several more militants responsible for attacks in the province.

In the province’s Nirkh district, a combined force patrolled a compound where militants had been tracked following an attack against security forces.

The militants are connected to a Taliban sub-commander involved in multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces using heavy weaponry, mines and suicide bombers, military officials said.

At the compound housing the known militants, two enemy combatants mounted on rooftops engaged Afghan forces. The Afghan troops returned fire, killing the combatants. The forces encountered and killed four armed militants inside the compound.

Troops found weapons and military equipment after the firefight.

Forces found multiple AK-47 assault rifles, chest racks, IED-making materials and grenades on the compound. Forces destroyed the grenades a safe distance off the compound and removed other weapons and associated materials.

A local citizen identified one of the dead combatants to be Shah Agha, a known Taliban sub-commander whom coalition forces had been targeting. He was responsible for facilitating attacks against security forces and for kidnapping government officials and contractors working in support of the Afghan government.

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