WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2008 – U.S. forces in Afghanistan assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Regional Command East killed 12 militants yesterday and detained one other while securing the site where a coalition helicopter was forced to land in Wardak province after taking enemy fire.

The UH-60 Black Hawk came under small-arms fire from a number of militants. The helicopter crew returned fire, but had to land when the tail was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, officials said.

Coalition ground forces responding to the scene were engaged by several militants in the area, officials said. Coalition forces responded, initially killing five militants. Coalition forces continued searching the area and were engaged by more militants. They again responded, killing seven more militants and detaining one.

The helicopter was recovered and taken to a nearby ISAF base.

Also yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces killed one armed militant and detained seven suspected militants during combined operations targeting the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist networks in Ghazni and Khowst provinces.

In Khowst’s Sabari district, Afghan and coalition forces searched a compound associated with a Haqqani commander suspected of facilitating the movement of foreign fighters in Afghanistan. The targeted militant also believed to plan and coordinate terrorist activities in the province, officials said.

As the combined force entered the targeted compound, an armed militant attempted to assault the force. In response to the insurgent threat, the force engaged the militant with small-arms fire, killing him. The combined force detained six suspected militants during the operation.

A second operation, in Ghazni’s Waghez district, netted a targeted militant with ties to multiple Taliban commanders. Coalition forces searched the compound without incident, detaining the targeted insurgent.

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