WASHINGTON, May 4, 2011 — Combined forces killed numerous armed insurgents and wounded another in a gun battle yesterday in the Zurmat district of Afghanistan’s Paktia province, military officials reported.
Troops were searching for a Haqqani terrorist network leader they believe is planning to assassinate the Paktia provincial governor, officials said.
Forces were surrounding a compound where they believed their target to be when numerous armed gunmen fired on them with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Troops returned fire until their attackers ceased fire, but called in an airstrike after the insurgents opened fire again, which is the protocol under International Security Assistance Force guidelines, officials explained.
The engagement resulted in numerous insurgents killed and another wounded. Eight civilians were injured and another was killed in the airstrike. The wounded were treated on site then transported to a nearby medical facility, officials said.
In other operations yesterday throughout Afghanistan:
— Afghan and coalition forces killed numerous armed militants in a firefight while searching for a Taliban leader in Nangarhar province’s Chaparhar district. Troops also detained a suspected insurgent.
— In Ghazni province’s Gelan district, troops killed an armed insurgent and detained several others after an air weapons team watched the militants set up an ambush. The air weapons team engaged the insurgents, disrupting their operation. Troops seized four assault rifles and several grenade launchers after assessing the airstrike.
— Forces captured more than 10 suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban leader who is a former district leader in Kandahar’s Panjwai district.
— Security forces detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a deputy Taliban leader in Baghlan province’s Dahanah-ye Ghori district.
— Combined forces in Logar province’s Baraki Barak district detained several suspected insurgents allegedly connected to a senior Taliban leader who operates in the area. — In Khost province’s Sabari district, troops detained two suspected insurgents while searching for a Haqqani network terrorist responsible for coordinating bombing attacks and bomb making.
In operations May 2:
— Security forces killed several insurgents and detained several others in Helmand province’s Nad‑e Ali district after a group of militants attempted to ambush their patrol.
— Forces found two weapons stockpiles. In Kandahar province’s Arghanadab district, troops discovered 53 rocket-propelled grenades and 10 rocket-propelled grenade boosters. In Wardak province’s Nerkh district, security forces found 31 pounds of plastic explosives, seven land mines, five rocket-propelled grenades, a grenade and assorted bomb-making materials.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases