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Officials Meet With Afghan Elders After Reports of Civilian Casualties

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2009 – Members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force met with village elders today after reports that civilians, including women and children, had been killed in an engagement between ISAF forces and insurgents yesterday in the Nad Ali district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

After extensive fighting with insurgents at a compound in Nad Ali district yesterday, ISAF aircraft dropped a single precision-guided bomb on the insurgents’ position. Following the engagement, ISAF officials received reports of civilian casualties, and a number of civilians with injuries reported to ISAF troops. They were given immediate medical attention or were transported to an ISAF hospital, officials said.

"Afghanistan continues to be a dangerous place, and the loss of any life is a significant loss to the families involved and our forces here," said Army Col. Wayne Shanks, an ISAF spokesman. "I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends for their loss."

ISAF values every life and takes every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians, ISAF officials said in a news release, and officials looking into the incident.

In other news from Afghanistan, Afghan and international security forces killed several suspected Taliban militants and detained others, in operations throughout southeastern Afghanistan yesterday and today, military officials reported.

-- A combined force received hostile fire during the search of a compound near Kandahar City. The force returned fire, killing several militants, and removed multiple assault rifles, a machine gun, grenades and communication gear from the site and destroyed them in place.

-- In Logar province, forces killed an armed militant when he displayed hostile intent during a search. A local civilian was wounded during the mission. The servicemembers provided immediate medical care and transported him to nearby hospital.

-- In the Nawa district of Ghazni province, no shots were fired and no one was injured while forces detained militants suspected of conducting Taliban activity in Zabul and Ghazni provinces.

-- An Afghan and international security force detained suspected militants today after searching a compound Nangahar province known to be used by a key insurgent responsible for supplying transportation to other militants.

(Compiled from NATO International Security Assistance Force news releases.)

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