WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2006 – Coalition soldiers killed 15 extremists Aug. 8 during a firefight at a provincial reconstruction team base in the Kamdesh district of Afghanistan's Nuristan province, military officials reported. Two U.S. soldiers and one Afghan policeman suffered minor wounds when 30 insurgents attacked the base with small arms and rockets. Coalition forces responded with small arms and mortars. The wounded soldiers and police officer were treated on the scene and returned to duty. The coalition base was not damaged.
"These extremists will never succeed in overcoming coalition and Afghan security forces," Army Col. Thomas Collins, a coalition spokesman, said in a news release. "We will prevail because the Afghan people have demonstrated that they want a stable and prosperous country."
Elsewhere, Afghan and coalition troops found a weapons cache and two explosive devices Aug. 8 in eastern Afghanistan. A coalition unit discovered and destroyed the weapons cache, consisting of 200 rockets, hidden in a cave in the Kohi Safi district of Parwan province.
Afghan police found an improvised explosive device in the Asadabad district of Kunar province, and Afghan soldiers found a landmine that had washed up onto a road in Khost province. Coalition teams destroyed both weapons in place. "These weapons will no longer be a threat to the lives of Afghan civilians," Collins said. "We will continue working alongside Afghan security forces to remove these types of deadly weapons wherever we find them to ensure a peaceful existence for the Afghan people."
Also on Aug. 8, five passengers walked away largely unharmed from a roadside bomb blast that destroyed their up-armored Humvee. Up-armored Humvees have saved many coalition lives in Afghanistan, officials said. The comments were in response to recent news reports contending that forces there need more of the vehicles and aren't using them consistently.
In other news from Afghanistan, Afghan police in Regional Command South received 36 new motorcycles Aug. 8. "The motorcycles will help us follow insurgents and Taliban," regional police commander Gen. Esmatullah Dawlatzai said.
"We thank the international community for helping us with equipment and educating our police force," he added. Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan, which assists the Afghan government in manning, training and equipping its security forces, helped obtain the motorcycles. "These motorcycles will enhance the (Afghan National Police's) mobility and will allow them to react to threats and better conduct their job," said Army Lt. Col. Donald Carr, deputy chief of resources for the command's Police Reform Directorate.