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Police Arrest Taliban Commanders in Southern Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 25, 2009 – Afghan National Police arrested two Taliban commanders and three other militants in southern Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province March 22, military officials reported today.

Villagers in Kandahar province notified Afghan National Police on March 21 that Qari Azizullah, Taliban district commander in Khas Oruzgan, and Mullah Hamidullah, a Khas Oruzgan Taliban district sub-commander, were on their way back to Khas Oruzgan following a trip to Pakistan.

An ANP commander ordered the establishment of checkpoints and patrols along the route they were traveling and disseminated a description of the militants' vehicle to police on the ground.

The vehicle was positively identified and stopped by ANP at a checkpoint in Oruzgan province’s capital of Tarin Kowt. As the vehicle halted, the occupants were witnessed throwing items out of the windows. The ANP recovered the documents, which were personal identification cards for Azizullah and Hamidullah. The militant leaders were arrested and taken into custody without incident.

Azizullah and Hamidullah were wanted men, known to be aggressive extortionists of money and supplies from the people of Khas Oruzgan where they have threatened and intimidated local teachers in order to keep schools closed. The militants are responsible for coordinating numerous attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

(From a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release.)

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