Sunday, March 1, 2009

OEF Summary, March 1, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Kill Militants, Seize Caches

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2009 -- Coalition forces engaged several militants this morning, killing four, while conducting operations in the Maywand district of Afghanistan about 50 miles northwest of Kandahar, U.S. Forces Afghanistan announced.

Intelligence sources tipped off coalition troops that enemy combatants were using the district’s water irrigation system to hide weapons and munitions. When the assault force arrived at the targeted series of irrigation holes, armed enemies engaged them. The coalition forces responded with small-arms fire and called in close-air support, killing four militants, officials said.

An initial search of the area revealed several AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

In other activity, coalition forces killed one militant and detained six other suspects during operations in Kandahar province yesterday.

Coalition forces searched several compounds in Khakrez district, during which they found and detained militants suspected of involvement in an improvised explosive device network, officials said.

When the forces arrived at the location to be searched, they called for all non-combatants to exit the buildings. After searching the compounds and questioning those present, the troops detained five suspects.

Coalition forces also tracked several militants who fled the scene, killing one who displayed hostile intentions. They detained a second suspect.

During a search of the compound, the troops found an AK-47 assault rifle and a chest rack. The coalition forces protected 20 women and 39 children during the operation.

Also yesterday, Afghan National Police assisted by coalition forces detained eight militants and prevented an IED attack in Ghazni province, officials said.

The combined forces were conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol when they saw the suspects placing an IED on the road. The police convoy followed the suspects to a compound in Ghazni City, where the police searched the compound and found a cache of IED-making materials, including two remote-control devices, wire and pressure plate materials. They also discovered two AK-47 rifles.

The Afghan National Police took eight militants into custody. Combined forces safely removed the IED from the road before it could inflict any injuries.

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

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