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Afghan Forces Detain Two Key Taliban Leaders

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2007 – Elements of the Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police, advised by coalition forces, detained two Taliban leaders in Afghanistan’s Paktika province during an early morning operation.

The Afghan forces detained Afzar Khan and Aka Khan at their Marghah Village homes in Bermel District without incident, military officials in Afghanistan reported.

Following the arrest, the border police conducted searches of both residences. Myriad small-arms weapons, rifles, sub-machine guns and pistols were found at both residences,

along with various bomb-making materials.

Intelligence suggests the captured leaders are involved in placing and transporting homemade bombs, officials said. They also are suspected of facilitating fighters and suicide bombers in the Bermel District, resulting in the injuries and deaths of innocent Afghan civilians and national security forces.

They are also known to have extensive connections with other senior Taliban and al Qaeda leadership in Paktika province and Pakistan.

"The (Afghan national security force) is growing in strength and capability every day," said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesperson. "The detention of these two leaders is another example of the (the forces’) determination to protect their citizens from the insurgency's targeted killing of innocent Afghans.

“Capturing Aka and Afzar Khan will undoubtedly lead to further information on insurgent leaders; including

their planned operations within Paktika and neighboring provinces," he added.

(From a Combined Press Information Center Afghanistan news release.)

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Combined Joint Task Force 82


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