Afghanistan — Afghan, NATO Troops Kill Dozens in Battle

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2010 — Afghan and NATO troops were involved in a 12-hour bat­tle yes­ter­day with insur­gents in west­ern Afghanistan’s Badghis province, killing dozens of ene­my fight­ers, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.
An Afghan com­man­do also was killed, and six Afghan sol­diers were report­ed wound­ed, as well as three inter­na­tion­al Spe­cial Forces sol­diers, mil­i­tary offi­cials said. No civil­ian casu­al­ties were report­ed.

The Afghan-led patrol was going to meet with local lead­ers to deter­mine upcom­ing human­i­tar­i­an projects and con­duct a secu­ri­ty assess­ment of the rur­al area when it came under attack from about 50 insur­gents, who con­tin­u­ous­ly fired from for­ti­fied posi­tions in the vil­lage.

The coali­tion force returned fire and, to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties, began clear­ing the build­ings and com­pounds from which the insur­gents were fir­ing. Dur­ing the clear­ing process, troops dis­cov­ered an intri­cate sys­tem of tun­nels and large stock­piles of weapons, bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als and oth­er ter­ror­ist-relat­ed equip­ment.

While the part­nered force pro­vid­ed med­ical treat­ment and trans­port­ed wound­ed per­son­nel from the area, an over­whelm­ing num­ber of insur­gents con­tin­ued to fire from cave entrances, var­i­ous loca­tions with­in the vil­lage and from high ground sur­round­ing the area.

The patrol lead­ers request­ed air sup­port to min­i­mize fur­ther risk to the com­mu­ni­ty, and coali­tion air­craft dropped pre­ci­sion-guid­ed muni­tions on mul­ti­ple insur­gent loca­tions.

Through­out the fight, Afghan and inter­na­tion­al forces main­tained con­tact with local gov­ern­ment lead­ers, who pro­vid­ed advice and sup­port and backed the use of close-air sup­port.

In oth­er news from Afghanistan:

— Accord­ing to ini­tial reports, one civil­ian was killed and more than a dozen were injured today when an explo­sive det­o­nat­ed near an inter­na­tion­al con­voy in Nan­garhar province. Afghan forces arrived quick­ly on the scene, secured the site and evac­u­at­ed the wound­ed to a local med­ical facil­i­ty. There were no mil­i­tary injuries.

— In Hel­mand province yes­ter­day, a com­bined force went into the Now Zad dis­trict in search of a Tal­iban weapons traf­fick­er. As the team approached a vehi­cle, one of the occu­pants point­ed a weapon. He was engaged and killed. No Afghan civil­ians were harmed dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

— In Kun­duz last night, a com­bined force searched a com­pound west of Ludin and cap­tured a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor believed to be a key mem­ber of a mil­i­tant ear­ly warn­ing sys­tem who has par­tic­i­pat­ed in sev­er­al attacks against coali­tion forces.

— In Kab­ul province April 5, Afghan sol­diers dis­cov­ered 170 mor­tar rounds behind a high school in the Shak­er Dar­reh dis­trict. An explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al team removed the rounds.

(Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand news releas­es.)

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)