American Forces Press Service
May 4, 2009 - Afghan commandos, advised by coalition forces, killed 19 militants during overnight operations in Helgal Valley in the Shakail Shatel district of Afghanistan's Kunar province, May 1-2. The Afghan-led force was conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol about 150 miles east of Kabul in an area known to harbor militants when they were attacked by several armed enemy fighters with small-arms fire from a wooded area.
The combined force positively identified the enemy's position and, after ensuring there were no noncombatants in the area, returned fire on the militants and called for close-air support, killing seven fighters.
The remaining enemy fighters attempted to reposition themselves on a ridge line, but the commandos maintained positive identification of their location. The force engaged the militants again with close-air support, killing 12 of them.
"This engagement was another blow to militant operations in eastern Afghanistan," a coalition spokesman said. "Due to the expertise of these elite forces the insurgents are quickly losing their ability to operate in the region."
No Afghan or coalition casualties were reported.
In another operation in Kunar province's Marawara district, Afghan forces and a small supporting element of coalition forces captured a suspected Taliban commander in an operation in May 2. The suspect is believed to be responsible for helping bring improvised explosive devices into the area.
Forces did not fire any shots during the operation, protecting eight adults and six children.
(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)