American Forces Press Service
Dec. 18, 2007 - Afghan and coalition forces killed more than 21 insurgent fighters and dismantled roadside bombs in Afghanistan yesterday, military officials said. In a day-long battle, Afghan and coalition forces killed several insurgents near the village of Deh Rawod in the Tarin Kowt district of Oruzgan province.
The Afghan-led force was conducting a security patrol in the area when a group of insurgents attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. Afghan forces quickly returned fire, putting the enemy on the defensive.
Sixteen insurgents relocated to a nearby structure, where they re-engaged the combined force. The Afghan troops returned small-arms and mortar fire and called in close-air support, effectively eliminating the enemy.
"Afghan national security forces quickly repelled the insurgent ambush. Those insurgents experienced first-hand the superior capabilities of the (forces)," said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. "The (Afghan national security forces are) working to rid Afghanistan of extremists who are working to destabilize the country and sabotage Afghan freedom."
In Helmand province, coalition forces killed several militants using precision-guided munitions on a Taliban command and control network. Troops targeted several militants outside a compound and employed precision-guided munitions, which killed the militants, including the alleged Taliban commander, who was believed to be facilitating the movement of foreign fighters and suicide bombers throughout the area, military officials said.
In a follow-on operation, Afghan and coalition forces conducted a search of compounds in the Kajaki district of Helmand province for individuals reported to be associated with the militants targeted during the strike.
While conducting the operation, Afghan and coalition forces, using small arms, killed several armed militants who posed a credible threat to the combined force, according to military officials. During a subsequent engagement on the compound, a group of militants barricaded in a building fired on the combined force. Troops retaliated with hand grenades, killing the enemy fighters.
While searching the compound, the combined force recovered and destroyed several weapons and explosives.
"Afghan and coalition forces are having significant success in degrading the Taliban's ability to conduct militant operations," Belcher said.
Elsewhere, Afghan and coalition forces thwarted a group of insurgents who were trying to place an improvised explosive device on a road near the village of Pada in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province.
Air support dropped ordnance on the suspected IED location, and a secondary explosion, caused by the detonation of the IED, confirmed the weapon was set to injure or kill troops or civilians on the road between the villages of Lwar Byal, Hotak and Alekozi. The insurgents died in the explosion, military officials said.
After Afghan troops cleared the area, they continued their reconnaissance patrol and discovered and neutralized four additional roadside bombs.
"The (Afghan National Army) commander saved the lives of my detachment members, not only once, but four times in a six-hour period," said an unidentified coalition force soldier quoted in a CJTF 82 news release. "I do not have the words to express my gratitude. ... They were outstanding."
(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)