War on Terrorism

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thirty-seven Taliban Fighters Killed, Three Detained in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

April 12, 2007 – Coalition and Afghan forces have killed 37 Taliban fighters and detained three others during operations in Afghanistan over the past three days. Soldiers of the 2nd Kandak, 205th Afghan National
Army Corps, with coalition forces, interdicted Taliban fighters about 30 miles northeast of Qalat, in Zabul province, early this morning.

Combined forces identified a large group of Taliban fighters on a ridgeline near a cave site and alerted air support. Coalition close-air support then destroyed the enemy position, killing 16 Taliban fighters.

Several enemy fighters on motorcycles attempted to retreat from the air strike, but Afghan National
Army and coalition forces tracked them to another cave site. Combined forces requested coalition aircraft, which engaged and destroyed the second position.

As a result of the fighting, a total of 24 enemy fighters were killed, and 14 motorcycles and two cave sites were destroyed. One weapons cache was discovered during a subsequent search of the caves. No Afghan civilians were reported injured.

"Taliban fighters and other militant forces are fighting a losing battle," said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. "The skill and persistence of (Afghan National Army) and coalition forces will triumph over the enemies of Afghanistan."

Combined forces nabbed two militants during a raid early yesterday morning in the Gomal district of Paktika province. The target was a known terrorist network member responsible for attacks against combined forces in Khowst and neighboring provinces,
military officials said. Credible intelligence led coalition forces to the compound. No shots were fired, and no one was injured.

During operations across Afghanistan on April 10, Taliban fighters launched indirect mortar and rocket-propelled-grenade fire at combined forces near the northeastern corner of the Sangin district center in Helmand province.

Afghan troops and coalition forces returned mortar fire before maneuvering to an observation position, where they requested close-air support. Coalition aircraft arrived and dropped munitions, which demolished an enemy compound, a bunker and a vehicle.

An estimated 13 Taliban fighters died in the engagement. There were no reports of Afghan civilian injuries during the night battle.

"Afghan national army and coalition forces will prevail against the Taliban fighters in Sangin district," Belcher said. "We will intensify our operations to rid the area of Taliban fighters and prevent their return."

In an early-morning raid April 10 in Jalalabad, in Nangarhar province, Afghan national police and coalition forces captured one militant.

Afghan and coalition forces were targeting an anti-coalition militia commander who was responsible for attacks against combined forces in the Khogiani district of Nangarhar province. The targeted militant also was
training enemy combatants in Kunar province to use improvised explosive devices, military officials said.

No shots were fired, and no injuries were reported as a result of the operation.

Later that evening near Chamkani, in Patika province, combined forces launched mortar and small-arms fire at five Taliban fighters, repelling the combatants as they attempted to attack a checkpoint located within Patan village. There were no Afghan civilian injuries reported during the separate enemy engagements.

"The Taliban are no match for (Afghan National Army) and coalition forces," Belcher said. "We will intensify our operations to rid Afghanistan of all Taliban fighters who harm innocent Afghan civilians and threaten the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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