28 October 2007

At least 84 militants dead after firefight in Afghanistan

On Sunday in Musa Qaleh, Helmand Province:

ASADABAD, Afghanistan — A six-hour firefight ended with at least seven dozen militants killed by U.S. Air Force jets on Sunday after a U.S.-Afghan reconnaissance patrol was attacked by Taliban fighters in the south of the country, a U.S. military spokesman said. ...

The gunfight-turned bombing on Sunday resulted after insurgents ambushed the coalition forces patrol with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

U.S. forces then reacted tactically, returned fire and called in the Air Force to attack the Taliban, [Maj. Chris Belcher, a spokesman for U.S. forces based out of Bagram] said.

A statement released by the U.S. military also stated that “four separate precision munition(s) engagements” were carried out by those aircraft.

Belcher would only say the aircraft were fixed-wing and not helicopters.

Air Force F-15s and B-1 bombers, along with C-130 Specter gunships, are commonly used throughout the country to support troops on the ground.

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