WASHINGTON, June 14, 2006 – Two coalition soldiers were killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan yesterday, and the Taliban falsely claimed to have killed nine U.S. soldiers today, military officials reported. One coalition soldier was killed in Helmand province defending a combat logistics patrol from attacking Taliban extremists. The other soldier was killed while engaging enemy forces in Kunar province.
"Our thoughts and prayers extend to the families and comrades of our soldiers who sacrificed their lives today executing their mission and defending their fellow teammates," Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76 said. "We sincerely regret their loss; their sacrifice will not be forgotten," he continued. "Our fallen soldiers selflessly served our Army, our nation and their fellow soldiers with honor and dignity. We will not be deterred from our mission of providing safety, security and progress for the nation of Afghanistan."
The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. In claims made to Afghan media, the Taliban today said they killed nine U.S. soldiers in the Dara Hazarbuz Cochak area of the Dai Chopan district in Zabul province. This is another false Taliban claim in their attempts to gain support for their cause. No U.S. soldiers were killed in Zabul province today, officials said. Afghan and coalition forces are on the offensive, not only enhancing security to the regions, but also bringing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to the people of Afghanistan, officials said. "The Taliban try to scare people with these claims and shake the coalition's commitment. They will fail in their efforts," said Col. Thomas Collins, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan spokesman.