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KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan security forces raided a medical clinic in eastern Afghanistan late Wednesday, capturing a Taliban commander who had been wounded in attacks during last week’s presidential election, Afghan officials said.
During the operation, which took place in the Sar Hawza district of Paktika Province, Afghan forces came under fire and called for assistance from American air and ground forces, said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a NATO spokeswoman. After clearing the building of civilians, an American Apache helicopter fired on the clinic, ending the battle, the spokeswoman said.
“Once the troops were fired on from the clinic, it loses its protected status” as a civilian location where international forces may not fire, she said. “In addition, we made sure the building was cleared of civilians, and there were no civilian deaths.”
The commander, Mullah Muslim, had been wounded in a firefight on election day.
One American soldier was killed in the operation, NATO said. Another American soldier was killed in a separate attack in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, bringing the total number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in August to 44, according to an Associated Press tally.