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1 Hurt on Copter Hit by Afghan Fire

From Associated Press

Shots were fired at a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan, wounding a crewman in the foot, the military said Saturday. The helicopter returned fire, killing one enemy fighter and wounding another.

The wounded American was taken to a U.S. base in the southern city of Kandahar and was in stable condition after Friday night’s shooting, said Col. Roger King, a U.S. military spokesman. He did not identify the crewman but said it was not the helicopter pilot or co-pilot.

The special operations helicopter, a twin-rotor MH-47 Chinook, was hit by small-arms fire northwest of Kandahar, King said. The aircraft was damaged slightly but was able to return to Kandahar.

King would not detail the helicopter’s mission.

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At Bagram air base, the United States’ military headquarters in Afghanistan, a U.S. helicopter brought a 10-year-old Afghan girl for medical treatment Friday night after she was injured by a land mine near Asadabad. It also picked up an Afghan militia soldier suffering complications from an amputation. Both were in stable condition, King said.

An Afghan military commander said Saturday that fighting between rival warlords in the western part of the country has killed at least six people, including three children, and injured more than 20 others.

Ethnic Tajik forces loyal to Ismail Khan, governor of Herat province, clashed with forces loyal to Pushtun commander Amanullah Khan for four days in Zer-i-Koh district, about 15 miles south of Shindand air base, said Haji Mohammed, a deputy commander loyal to Amanullah Khan.

The fighting, which ended Friday, began after the Pushtun leader’s forces refused to hand over to Ismail Khan an Iranian citizen they had arrested in the area, Mohammed said.

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The Iranian was detained after being questioned by Amanullah Khan’s forces and reportedly told them that he was Afghan. The man, who was wearing Afghan clothes and had no weapons, was sent to Kandahar and later handed over to American forces there, Mohammed said.

Ismail Khan’s militiamen launched an offensive with rocket and artillery fire. Two women, three children and a young man were killed, Mohammed said. Twenty civilians also reportedly were wounded, as were several of Amanullah Khan’s fighters.


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