Tuesday, May 26, 2009

OEF Summary, May 26, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Kill 84, Detain 14 in Combat Operations

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2009 -- Coalition and Afghan forces killed 84 militants and detained 14 more in recent operations throughout Afghanistan, U.S. military officials reported.

Afghan and coalition forces killed 13 enemy fighters today in an ongoing operation in Logar province’s Kharwar district. The joint forces were searching a compound when they spotted several groups of armed fighters closing in. An initial coalition airstrike killed four, and a follow-up airstrike killed nine more, military officials said.

In operations yesterday:
  • Afghan and coalition forces killed eight militants in Oruzgan province’s Deh Rawood district after the men attacked the joint reconnaissance patrol with machinegun and large-caliber munitions fire. The joint force returned fire with small-arms and mortar fire, killing all eight insurgents. Three Afghan policemen and two coalition troops were wounded in the attack but are in stable condition at a coalition medical facility, officials said.

  • In Helmand province’s Nadi Ali district and Lashkar Gah, Afghan and coalition forces killed three insurgents and detained six suspected Taliban. The operation was to capture a Taliban commander allegedly responsible for orchestrating bomb-making operations and for using violence to intimidate local residents to cooperate. One enemy fighter was killed in a building when coalition forces noticed he was wearing a suicide vest. Two more were killed after trying to shield themselves with a woman and child. Six others were detained without force. A woman and child were wounded by ricochet bullets during the incident but sustained non-life threatening injuries, officials said.

  • In Helmand province’s Sangin district, Afghan and coalition forces found and destroyed a weapons and narcotics cache during a raid. The search resulted in 55 pounds of heroin, 10 pounds of ammonium nitrate liquid, 50 gallons of bomb-making materials and seven mortars, officials said.

In Khost province May 24, Afghan and coalition forces detained four suspected foreign fighters during a raid on several suspected al-Qaida facilities. The suspects are believed to be tied to the recruitment of Kuwaiti and Pakistani extremists, officials said.

In operations May 23:
  • Afghan army commandos and coalition forces concluded a four-day operation in Helmand province’s Nadi Ali district, killing 60 enemy fighters. The joint forces evacuated innocent bystanders from the Loy Cherah Bazaar before cordoning off the area to destroy the weapons and narcotics that were found. Coalition airstrikes destroyed more than 16,000 kilograms of opium, 200 kilograms of processed heroin, 180 kilograms of hashish and 75,000 kilograms of poppy seeds. Also, bomb-making materials, including 27,000 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, 700 gallons of diesel fuel, six pressure plate triggers, and three explosive device battery systems, were destroyed. Weapons found and destroyed were 44 blocks of plastic explosives and 120 loaded ammunition vests, officials said.

  • In Ghazni province’s Ghazni district, Afghan and coalition forces captured an alleged Taliban leader and two associates believed to be involved in weapons trafficking, officials said.

  • In Logar province’s Baraki district, Afghan and coalition forces detained a suspected militant in an attempt to capture a Taliban leader responsible for a May 12 attack on two government buildings in Khost province. That attack resulted in 10 suicide bombers killing eight innocent civilians and allegedly wounding the deputy governor, officials said.

(Report compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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