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Afghan Commandos liberate three Taliban hostages, detain six militants

Release No: UNRELEASED Feb. 14, 2009 PRINT | E-MAIL

PRESS RELEASE

U.S. Forces Afghanistan       

February 13, 2009

Release Number: 20091302-01

Afghan Commandos liberate three Taliban hostages, detain six militants

Kabul, Afghanistan - Afghan National Army Commandos from the 207th Commando Kandak and Coalition forces liberated three Taliban hostages and arrested six armed militants at a vehicle checkpoint in Farah Province, Feb. 12.

As a vehicle approached a combined forces’ checkpoint, the driver failed to heed warnings by the Commandos to stop and attempted to breech the checkpoint. After exhausting all warnings, the Commandos had no other option but to open fire on the vehicle.

One militant was wounded, treated by Afghan National Commandos and Coalition forces’ medics for minor injuries, and taken to a local clinic for further treatment. The militant is in stable condition. Five others were detained by the Commandos and one AK-47 rifle was confiscated.

Occupants of a second vehicle were seen attempting to discard weapons as they approached the checkpoint. After a thorough search of the vehicle, improvised-explosive device making materials, three AK-47s, and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with three rounds and four boosters were discovered. Three militants were detained by the Commandos.

Three occupants of the first vehicle were discovered to be hostages being held for ransom. One of the men was a local shepherd who insurgents had planned to execute and a father and son, one of whom was forced to drive the vehicle. All three hostages were released.

"The professionalism of these Commandos resulted in saving the lives of those three Afghan civilians," said Lt. Cmdr. Walter Matthews, a U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesperson. "The security of the Afghan people will continue to grow, as Afghan National Security Forces keeps increasing in size and capabilities."

No Afghan National Army soldiers, Coalition forces or civilian casualties were reported.

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United States Forces Afghanistan’s mission, in coordination with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, is to conduct operations to defeat terrorist networks and insurgents by developing effective governance and building the Afghan National Security Force.  Effective security throughout the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan facilitates continued regional stability and increases economic development for the people of Afghanistan.

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