WASHINGTON, June 11, 2006 – Taliban extremists burned a school in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, and coalition forces killed numerous terrorists in several operations there over the past week, U.S. military officials reported.
The Wardag Kat Primary School was set on fire June 3 by several identified Taliban extremists, resulting in extensive damage to the roof and the interior of the building. The extremists also sporadically fired small-arms fire into Wardag Village and a nearby village across the valley while the school was burning. Residents of Wardag Village did not report any injuries to Afghan or coalition forces.
Taliban extremists have been implicated or have claimed responsibility for damaging more than 45 schools, assassinating teachers and intimidating school-aged children in the past year, military officials said.
In other news from Afghanistan, coalition forces engaged more than 60 insurgents June 5 in Zabul Province. A joint Afghan National Army and Canadian force engaged with enemy forces into the evening, inflicting significant casualties on the extremists.
Enemy casualties were estimated to be more than 30 killed in the action. There were no Afghan or coalition casualties.
Coalition forces also conducted a reconnaissance patrol in Uruzgan Province June 8, disrupting the operations of about 30 insurgents who were massing outside of Cahar Cineh village.
Coalition forces attacked the extremist positions with artillery, killing 10 enemy fighters. The remaining enemy fighters fled the area. The coalition patrol pursued and searched for the scattered enemy, but was unable to reestablish contact. During the initial clash, coalition troops closely observed the mortar fire and reported no damage to civilian property or innocent Afghan citizens, officials said.
During shared operations elsewhere in Uruzgan, Afghan National Army and coalition forces spoiled an extremist attempt to set up an ambush. Afghan and coalition forces stormed 10 enemy combatants, causing the insurgents to flee into a defensive stronghold nearby.
Aerial support arrived at the scene and strafed the stronghold with 30 mm cannon fire.
Four extremists were killed as the joint Afghan and coalition force besieged the stronghold. The patrol confiscated two rocket-propelled grenades, a rifle with five magazines and other miscellaneous military items inside the compound. No Afghan or coalition soldiers were injured in the skirmish.
In addition, Afghan National Army and coalition forces conducted a combat patrol into the Chenar Tu Village of Chora District in Uruzgan Province June 8 to assess current security conditions there.
The joint patrol observed 10 insurgents establishing an ambush site and requested coalition aircraft to engage the enemy position. The enemy fighters then attempted to escape by hiding in a nearby compound. Afghan and coalition troops entered the compound and killed three insurgents with small-arms fire. Two RPGs, five magazines of ammunition and an AK-47 were recovered in a search of the compound.