Sunday, April 5, 2009

OEF Summary, April 5, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Kill 15 Militants, Nab 8, Destroy IED Cache

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 5, 2009 -- Afghan national army soldiers advised by coalition forces killed 14 armed militants in Qalat District, Zabul province Saturday.

In a continuous effort to deny militants freedom of movement and seek out improvised explosive device caches, the ANA-led force conducted a combat reconnaissance patrol in an area of known militant presence.

The patrol was attacked by numerous armed militants with heavy small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

The combined force moved forward, closing in on the enemies’ position as ANA soldiers recovered insurgent weapons. Inside a cave complex they discovered a cache of improvised explosive device making materials and several explosives which were destroyed by the ANA.

As the force pushed forward, a firefight ensued when militants re-engaged the patrol from four motorcycles and various fighting positions with small-arms and RPG fire. After positively identifying the armed militants and assuring there were no non-combatants in the area, the combined element returned fire with small-arms and close air support, killing 14 militants.

“The Afghan national army continues to work with great determination towards ridding Afghanistan of violent extremists who attempt to undermine the Afghan government and oppress our people,” said Maj. Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Ministry of Defense spokesman.

No ANSF, coalition forces or civilian casualties were reported during this operation.

In other operations, one militant was killed and eight suspected militants were detained in Kandahar province, April 4, during a joint operation to bring down a Taliban cell directly linked to the March improvised explosive device strikes that killed four Canadian troops.

In Arghandab District, Kandahar province, approximately 20 kilometers northeast of Kandahar, Afghan and coalition forces raided a compound where members of the Taliban were staying. Immediately upon their arrival, the assault force encountered an armed militant who engaged them. The assault force returned fire, killing the enemy combatant.

On the compound, Afghan forces called out for all women and children to peacefully exit multiple buildings. With women and children moved to safety, forces questioned eight men suspected to be involved in bomb-making in Kandahar. All eight suspects were detained.

When forces searched the compound, they found multiple weapons, munitions and bomb-making materials, all of which were destroyed a safe distance from the compound to prevent their use against Afghan civilians, Afghan national security forces and coalition forces.

Eleven women and 27 children were protected.

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

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