Tuesday, April 21, 2009

OEF Summary, April 21, 2009: Troops Destroy Anti-Aircraft Weapons System in Helmand

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2009 -- One militant was killed and a suspect was detained during a joint operation today by coalition and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan.

The operation’s target was an associate of a local Taliban leader suspected of aiding the transport of weapons, ammunition and fighters into northern Kandahar province.

During the operation, forces searched an isolated compound in Maywand district, about 40 miles northwest of Kandahar City. Five women and 15 children found in the compound were moved to a safe area, and forces tried to question several men believed to be under the influence of opium, officials said.

One man barricaded himself inside the building and refused to surrender. Troops forcibly entered the building, and the man was killed.

Forces found about 10 pounds of opium at the compound and detained one man for questioning.

In other Afghanistan news, coalition forces today destroyed two anti-aircraft weapons systems in southern Helmand province’s Nad Ali district.

The first system was destroyed in the early morning hours after troops learned that local militants were staging an anti-aircraft gun on the back of a truck to use against coalition helicopters. Coalition forces located the gun, which was loaded and ready to use, and destroyed it with a precision strike.

The second anti-aircraft gun also was mounted on the back of a truck, and militants were seen firing the weapon near a local bazaar. It also was destroyed by coalition forces.

In recent months, enemy fighters in the area have tried unsuccessfully to use surface-to-air strikes against coalition aircraft, officials said.

No coalition force casualties were reported from the two strikes.

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

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