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Joint Team Assesses Eastern Afghanistan Airstrike

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2012 – The International Security Assistance Force has sent a joint incident assessment team to gather facts about a coalition forces airstrike in Afghanistan’s Laghman province yesterday that resulted in several Afghan civilian casualties, military officials reported.

The incident occurred as ISAF conducted an airstrike on a large group of armed individuals showing hostile intent in a rugged part of the province, officials said. While the airstrike killed several insurgents, officials added, the action also resulted in the unintentional deaths of a number of Afghan civilians.

Coalition forces take civilian casualties seriously and will conduct a complete assessment of the incident, ISAF officials said in a statement expressing regret to the families.

Also today, Afghan and coalition forces confirmed the death of the Taliban insurgent behind a May 11 insider attack that killed a coalition service member. The insurgent, known as Mahmood, was killed Sept. 15 in a combined forces airstrike in the Bar Kunar district of Kunar province. The successful strike was the result of efforts to track down insurgents involved with insider attacks, officials said. Also killed in the strike were more than a dozen armed insurgents, including several Taliban leaders operating in the region. A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and there was no damage to any civilian structures.

Afghan and coalition forces also confirmed today the death of Asadullah, an al-Qaida-associated facilitator who was killed Sept. 15 during an airstrike in the Asadabad district of Kunar province. Asadullah supported terrorist operations, organizing and conducting attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the Watahpur Valley. He also is believed to be behind an Aug. 8 suicide attack. The strike also killed several other insurgents. A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed in the operation and there was no damage to civilian structures.

Mullah Jalal, the Taliban leader for the Ghaziabad district of Kunar province, was killed a Sept. 15 airstrike in northeastern Kunar province, officials confirmed today. A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and there was no damage to civilian structures.

Officials also announced today that Rashid, a Taliban attack specialist, was killed by a combined force in the Sayyidabad district of Wardak province. Rashid, also known as Zubair, is believed to have planned and conducted several ambush-style attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in recent months. The security force also detained one suspect and seized several assault rifles.

In operations yesterday:

-- A combined force arrested the Taliban leader responsible for the death of two U.S. service members following a Sept. 5 helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. The security force also detained a suspected insurgent and seized bomb-making components and Taliban-associated materials.

-- A combined force killed an insurgent, detained a suspect and seized an assault rifle and rocket-propelled grenade components during a search for a Taliban leader in the Khugyani district of Nangarhar province.

-- A combined-force airstrike killed an insurgent in the Gardez district of Paktia province.

-- A combined force arrested two suspects during a search for a Taliban leader in the Qalah-ye Zal district of Kunduz province.

In Sept. 15 operations:

-- A combined force killed an insurgent, detained two suspects and seized an assault rifle during a search for a Taliban leader in the Khanabad district of Kunduz province.

-- A combined force arrested a Taliban leader, detained several other suspects and seized multiple firearms and small-arms ammunition in the Khugyani district of Nangarhar province. The arrested leader is believed to be responsible for the transportation of weapons, ammunition and insurgent fighters to conduct attacks throughout Laghman and Nangarhar provinces. Prior to his arrest, the Taliban leader was suspected of planning attacks on Afghan security checkpoints.

-- A combined force arrested a Taliban forger and detained another suspect in the Jalalabad district of Nangarhar province. The arrested forger is suspected of providing fake documents and identification cards to Taliban insurgents attempting to infiltrate the Afghan government and security forces.

 

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