Friday, May 29, 2009

OEF Update, May 29, 2009: Troops Kill at Least 29 Militants in Paktika Province

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 29, 2009 -- Afghan and coalition forces attacked a suspected foreign fighter encampment killing at least 29 militants during a fierce firefight in Paktika province yesterday during an operation to capture Sangeen, a wanted Haqqani commander.

In the mountainous region of Wor Mamay District, near the Pakistan border, approximately 160 kilometers southwest of Khost city, Afghan and coalition forces raided an enemy encampment where intelligence sources indicated the senior leader Sangeen was operating a staging area for future attacks in Paktika province.

Dozens of well-armed militants immediately began firing on the combined force to repel the assault. Afghan and coalition forces returned fire, engaging multiple enemies situated both in heavily fortified positions and inside structures on the compound.

Forces continued receiving enemy fire as they maneuvered toward the camp, calling for direct supporting fires from aircraft to subdue enemies firing from positions on higher ground.

Multiple enemies who were killed during the firefight were found with grenades that had been rigged to explode upon disruption. During the assault, at least six enemies detonated suicide vests, killing only themselves. During one blast, a coalition member sustained minor wounds, but no other forces were wounded during the battle.

Forces discovered multiple weapons caches containing rocket-propelled grenade launchers, ammunition, AK-47 assault rifles, heavy machine guns, chest racks and suicide vests.

No non-combatants were injured during this operation.

Sangeen, also known as "Fateh," is a member of the Haqqani senior leadership who is responsible for numerous attacks against forces in eastern Afghanistan. He has also planned and coordinated the movement of al-Qaida senior leaders and hundreds of foreign fighters from Pakistan to Afghanistan through the Spreah District.

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

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