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1. Wide shot Bagram Air base
2. US soldiers
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Roger King, US Military Spokesman:
"A small group of United States special forces soldiers were clearing a compound with support from Afghan militia forces when they came under armed fire Monday, at approximately 11am, about 13 kms north of Spinboldak in Kandahar province. The coalition forces returned fire, killing one, wounding one and detaining a third man. The detainee, when questioned, informed US special forces that he had information related to approximately 80 armed personnel. (GLITCH IN TAPE AT THIS POINT) The special forces called in AH64 Apache helicopters in an attempt to verify this information they had just received. The AH64s were fired on by ground forces near the mountain. The AH64s returned fire and then special forces requested the quick reaction force which was drawn from the 82nd airborne division. The quick reaction force was launched and the enemy forces were located near a series of caves in the mountain. Close air support was also requested and over the course of next 12-14 hours it was provided by US airforce B1B bombers, coalition F16s and US airforce AC-130 gunship during the hours of darkness - and this was in addition to the Apaches. The enemy forces were engaged throughout the night and the action still continues. At least 18 enemy personnel have been killed - no coalition causalities have been reported. A total of 19 J-dams - which are 2-thousand pound bombs, were dropped by the B1s during the course of yesterday evening and last night. Two GBU-12s - which are 500 pound guided bombs - were dropped by F16s by European partner airforces and there were repeated gun engagements by AC-130 and the AH64 Apaches."
4. Cutaway King talking to reporters
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Roger King, US Military Spokesman:
"It's without a doubt the largest concentration of enemy forces we have come across since Operation Anaconda which was last spring."
6. Cutaway King talking to reporters
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Roger King, US Military Spokesman:
"Our intelligence leads us to believe that they are most closely aligned with the Hezb-e-Islami movement, which is Hekmatyar's military arm (leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar). We've had reporters over several months that he's been attempting to consolidate with remnants of al-Qaida and Taliban - so they all go under the heading of enemy forces, anti-coalition forces, so that is who we believe they are."
8. Soldier at Bagram Air base
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Roger King, US Military Spokesman:
"Well I mean we have to develop the situation further before we know what the end state is going to be. But we believe we are taking the appropriate actions to contain the action to that specific location, and we'll see what happens over the next 24 hours or so."
10. Soldiers at base
11. Pan of press conference with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
US and coalition forces were battling 80 rebels aligned to renegade leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Tuesday in the
largest-scale fighting since Operation Anaconda nine months ago, the US military said.
A military spokesman said up to 350 troops were involved in the fighting on the American side, including troops from the 82nd Airborne division, US Special Forces and allied Afghan militia troops.
At least 18 rebel fighters were killed in the fighting, which began on Monday, the military said.
There were no coalition casualties.
The fighting - about 15 miles (25 kilometres) north of Spinboldak and near the border with Pakistan - was triggered by a small shootout pitting armed attackers against US forces and their Afghan allies trying to clear a compound.
One of the attackers was killed, one injured and one detained.
The detained suspect told questioners that a large group of armed men had massed in mountains nearby, spokesman Roger King said.
Apache helicopters sent to investigate came under small arms fire and then fighter aircraft went to pound the area.
King went on to say that intelligence led the US to believe that the fighters were "most closely aligned with the Hezb-e-Islami movement".
The movement is the military arm of renegade leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who reportedly is attempting to
consolidate with remnants of al-Qaida and Taliban.
Hekmatyar was a key guerrilla commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan.
Later, in the civil war that paved the way for the Taliban takeover, Hekmatyar's men pounded the capital, Kabul, with daily rocket barrages.
He lived in exile in Iran during the five years of the Taliban rule and returned after US-led forces ousted the hardline militia.
His following among ethnic Pashtuns is considered fairly significant.
King would not speculate on what the rebels were planning, but said that the largest contingent of coalition forces were stationed in nearby Spinboldak.