Afghanistan Land Mine Kills Soldier; Troops Kill Taliban Fighters
WASHINGTON, June 28, 2006 – A coalition soldier was killed and three others were injured today when their vehicle struck a land mine in Afghanistan's Helmand province, and Afghan and coalition forces today killed 12 terrorists at a Taliban compound, military officials reported. The dead and wounded soldiers' uparmored vehicle struck a land mine likely left behind from 25 years of war, according to Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials.
"We sincerely regret the loss of our fellow soldier today; his sacrifice will not be forgotten," Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of Combined Joint Task Force -76, said. "Our thoughts and prayers extend to the family of our lost soldier and to the families and comrades of our wounded soldiers. We hope for a full and speedy recovery." The command's policy is to withhold the nationality and identity of casualties until their families are notified.
Millions of land mines lay unmarked across Afghanistan, remnants of a quarter century of conflict, officials said, adding that this incident does not appear to be related to extremist activity.
Meanwhile, Afghan soldiers assigned to 1st Kandak, 1st Brigade, 205th Corps, and coalition forces raided a Taliban compound in Uruzgan province this morning. They killed 12 Taliban extremists during a firefight with insurgents who were hiding in a Taliban compound. Two Afghan National Army soldiers suffered superficial wounds from the battle and were treated at their base camp, officials said. No civilian injuries were reported.
Officials said Taliban insurgents frequently used the targeted compound as a meeting place to plan and facilitate attacks against innocent Afghan civilians and soldiers and coalition forces. "ANA and coalition forces are rooting out Taliban insurgents in Uruzgan province and throughout southern Afghanistan," said a Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "Taliban extremists have clearly demonstrated they seek only to terrorize, kill and oppress the Afghan people. ANA and coalition forces are committed to ridding Afghanistan of this menace to peace, reconstruction and stability."