WASHINGTON -- U.S. Marine officials in Afghanistan confirmed today that 15 insurgents were killed May 8 in a five-hour gun battle in Laghman province.
Two Marines were killed in the firefight, which began when Marines used intelligence to locate insurgent forces planning to ambush the Marine unit, officials said.
Following the firefight, Marine commanders visited nearby villages to talk with local leaders, elders and government officials, according to a written statement issued today by Combined Forces Command Afghanistan. The district police chief assured the Marine commanders that all people involved in the firefight and all those killed and injured had been known insurgents, the CFC-A statement said. Neither the police chief nor the local village leaders and elders had heard any truthful reports of injured civilians, the statement added.
Afghan police did pick up a man alongside a road with a gunshot wound to the arm and brought him to the nearest coalition firebase. Officials said he's being treated for his injuries and being questioned for his involvement in the incident. A Marine involved in the firefight identified him from a digital photo as being one of the insurgents involved in the attack.
Initial reports from a U.S. Air Force aircraft crew surveying the area estimated that 24 insurgents had been killed in the incident. The Marine unit involved has confirmed 15 dead insurgents and six wounded insurgents from the incident. The wounded insurgents are being treated at coalition medical facilities and will remain in custody until they are no longer a threat to Afghan and coalition forces operating in the area, officials said.
(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)