BAGRAM, Afghanistan — An unspecified number of suspected Taliban fighters were killed and another 17 were captured during operations by U.S. and Afghan forces in two eastern provinces of Afghanistan, Maj. Chris Belcher, a U.S. spokesman, said Thursday.

The operations, conducted to disrupt Taliban bomb-making sites, were carried out in the provinces of Uruzgan and Zabul, Belcher said.

In Uruzgan, coalition troops “conducted a search in the Jawara District where intelligence sources indicated Taliban and [roadside bomb] cells linked to several previous attacks on Afghan and coalition forces were operating,” a statement read.

While conducting house-to-house searches, U.S. and Afghan forces engaged and killed “several armed militants.”

It was not immediately clear who initiated the gunfight.

A further search turned up seven suspects whom intelligence said had possible connections to makers of roadside bombs, the statement continued.

In Zabul, “several militants posed a credible threat to Afghan and Coalition Forces conducting a search of compounds in the Qalat District,” another statement read. It went on to say that “conventional weapons” were used against the suspected Taliban militants, killing two.

Ten suspects were found, according to Belcher.

In both the Uruzgan and Zabul operations, “some damage occurred to buildings,” officials said.

In the past, U.S. military officials have said area commanders are responsible for paying civilians for destruction to personal property.

Several weapons, ammunition and night-vision goggles were recovered from the operations.

Separately, two Taliban fighters detained in an Oct. 23 raid in Wardak Province, also in Afghanistan’s east, have been identified, according to a statement released by the U.S. military.

“Jawed, aka Latif Allah, and Mohammadullah were detained by coalition forces in the Nerkh District during an operation in which two other militants were killed in a firefight,” the press release said. Afghans often only have one name.

“Several weapons, including more than 500 feet of detonation cord and several mortar rounds, were also discovered during the operation and destroyed to prevent use by militant forces,” the statement said.

It also claimed that both of the men’s fingerprints were found on weapons materials captured during the raid.

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