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Afghan, NATO Troops Kill Dozens in Battle

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2010 – Afghan and NATO troops were involved in a 12-hour battle yesterday with insurgents in western Afghanistan’s Badghis province, killing dozens of enemy fighters, military officials reported.

An Afghan commando also was killed, and six Afghan soldiers were reported wounded, as well as three international Special Forces soldiers, military officials said. No civilian casualties were reported.

The Afghan-led patrol was going to meet with local leaders to determine upcoming humanitarian projects and conduct a security assessment of the rural area when it came under attack from about 50 insurgents, who continuously fired from fortified positions in the village.

The coalition force returned fire and, to avoid civilian casualties, began clearing the buildings and compounds from which the insurgents were firing. During the clearing process, troops discovered an intricate system of tunnels and large stockpiles of weapons, bomb-making materials and other terrorist-related equipment.

While the partnered force provided medical treatment and transported wounded personnel from the area, an overwhelming number of insurgents continued to fire from cave entrances, various locations within the village and from high ground surrounding the area.

The patrol leaders requested air support to minimize further risk to the community, and coalition aircraft dropped precision-guided munitions on multiple insurgent locations.

Throughout the fight, Afghan and international forces maintained contact with local government leaders, who provided advice and support and backed the use of close-air support.

In other news from Afghanistan:

-- According to initial reports, one civilian was killed and more than a dozen were injured today when an explosive detonated near an international convoy in Nangarhar province. Afghan forces arrived quickly on the scene, secured the site and evacuated the wounded to a local medical facility. There were no military injuries.

-- In Helmand province yesterday, a combined force went into the Now Zad district in search of a Taliban weapons trafficker. As the team approached a vehicle, one of the occupants pointed a weapon. He was engaged and killed. No Afghan civilians were harmed during the operation.

-- In Kunduz last night, a combined force searched a compound west of Ludin and captured a Taliban facilitator believed to be a key member of a militant early warning system who has participated in several attacks against coalition forces.

-- In Kabul province April 5, Afghan soldiers discovered 170 mortar rounds behind a high school in the Shaker Darreh district. An explosive ordnance disposal team removed the rounds.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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