KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2006 – Seven suspected al Qaeda facilitators were killed early today when Afghan and coalition forces conducted an operation on a compound housing suspected terrorists near the village of Asmar in Kunar province, U.S. military officials reported. Afghan and coalition forces came under direct fire when approaching the compound and defended themselves with return fire. Afghan and coalition forces continued to take fire from hostile forces in the surrounding area after the initial objective was secured.
All of the men killed were engaging Afghan and coalition forces with hostile fire. A child, about 10 to 12 years old, was killed and a woman was wounded during the fighting. An investigation is being conducted to determine the identities of these individuals. Four other males in the compound were also taken into custody.
The additional enemy fighters fled the site when engaged by the Afghan and coalition unit. The woman who was wounded during the fighting was immediately evacuated to a nearby coalition medical facility for treatment. "The al Qaeda fighters deliberately put women and children at risk in an effort to protect their illegal and immoral operations," said Army Col. Thomas Collins, coalition spokesman. Multiple weapons, ammunition and grenades were confiscated in the operation.
The purpose of this operation was to capture a known al Qaeda facilitator, officials said. Credible intelligence linked the targeted individual to suspected terrorist activities and attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Kunar province.