War on Terrorism

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Afghan, Coalition Forces Detain Suspects, Find Weapons

American Forces Press Service

June 17, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces detained five suspects, killed enemy fighters, and discovered weapons caches in operations in Afghanistan in the past three days,
military officials reported. Afghan and coalition forces discovered bomb-making material and ammunition in a raid on a suspected safe house in the Nahri Siraj district of Helmand province early today.

Coalition forces detained two suspected militants during the operation. Credible intelligence led the forces to the compound, a suspected safe house for weapons and foreign fighter facilitators.

"These operations continue to find and remove threats to the safety of peaceful Afghans and its fighting forces," said
Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. "Getting material like this out of the hands of militants saves lives all over the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."

The detainees will be questioned as to their identities and involvement in militant activities.

Elsewhere, Afghan and coalition forces killed a few militants and detained three in an operation June 15 against Taliban forces at a compound in the Shahjoy district of Zabul province.

During a brief firefight at the compound, which resulted in the enemy casualties, two civilians were caught in the crossfire and suffered gunshot wounds. A male teenager died from his wound at the scene, and a male child was evacuated to a coalition medical facility to treat his injury. The boy's father accompanied him to the facility.

"Coalition and Afghan forces strive to avoid civilian injuries and are saddened by the loss of life," Belcher said. "But, when extremists insist on hiding among civilians, as they clearly were here, they are abusing the kindness of their hosts and putting innocents at risk."

Coalition forces acted on credible intelligence, which indicated the compound was sheltering local Taliban facilitators of foreign fighters. During the operation, militants fired small arms and grenades at the forces; the coalition forces returned fire, killing the assailants. After the engagement, local villagers confirmed the enemy fighters killed at the scene were indeed Taliban militants.

Once the compound was secured, coalition forces conducted a search and discovered several items of interest, including a global positioning system device, medical supplies, a video camera and two fragmentation grenades.

The detainees will be questioned as to their involvement in militant activities.

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

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