Friday, December 26, 2008

OEF Summary; Dec. 26, 2008: Troops in Afghanistan Kill 11 Taliban During Firefight

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 26, 2008 -- Coalition forces in Afghanistan killed 11 Taliban militants and detained two suspects during a firefight with members of a major roadside-bomb emplacing network in Kandahar province yesterday.

In Maiwand district, west of the city of Kandahar, coalition forces targeted a Taliban network responsible for local roadside bomb attacks, including recent assaults that killed several International Security Assistance Force soldiers. Militants barricaded inside the compounds refused to surrender and opened fire on the coalition forces with machine guns and AK-47 rifles.

Coalition forces first held their fire to allow women and children to exit the compounds, after which they were moved to a safer location. Coalition forces then engaged the militants with small-arms fire and hand grenades.

Eleven militants were killed during the firefight. Coalition medical personnel tended to a wounded female bystander and evacuated her to a hospital for further care.

Coalition forces found dozens of land mines, at least 15 rocket-propelled grenades, several machine guns and AK-47 rifles, as well as bomb-making materials hidden in the compounds. Coalition forces destroyed the weaponry.

“No martyrs here, just militants who put down roadside bombs that kill innocent Afghans and then hide among civilians putting them at even greater risk,” said Army Col Jerry O’Hara, a U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesperson. “Coalition forces take on extraordinary steps, even giving up the element of surprise to ensure only militants were engaged.”

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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