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Afghan, International Troops Capture Taliban Commander

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2010 – Afghan and international forces last night captured several insurgents in Afghanistan, including a Taliban commander suspected in several attacks against coalition forces, military officials said.

A combined Afghan-international force captured the commander during a search of a compound southwest of Kandahar City after intelligence indicated militant activity there. The man is suspected in a prison attack and assaults on coalition forces, and is believed to be part of the Taliban’s media efforts.

Combined forces captured several other militants during that search and others around the country last night.

In the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, a combined force searched a series of compounds and detained several militants for further questioning.

In Khost, a combined force captured several militants while pursuing a Haqqani terrorist network subcommander. The force searched a compound in the Sabari district after intelligence indicated militant activity, detained the militants, and found automatic rifles, grenades, fuses, ammunition and a large amount of explosives.

In Kunduz, a combined force searched a compound northwest of Kunduz City after intelligence indicated militant activity. The force detained two suspected militants for further questioning.

No shots were fired and no Afghan civilians were harmed in those operations.

Meanwhile, Afghan and international forces are investigating two unrelated incidents of civilian deaths.

Four Afghan children were wounded today during a firefight between insurgents and international troops in Kapisa province. The children were medically evacuated to an International Security Assistance Force medical facility. Two of the children reportedly have died from the wounds.

It is unclear who caused the children's injuries, and the case is under investigation, military officials said.

Also, combined forces in Helmand’s Nahr-e Saraj district discovered the bodies of two women, an elderly man and a child, along with four dead militants, following a prolonged battle with insurgents yesterday. The bodies were found inside a compound insurgents were using as a firing position. Coalition forces, unaware of the possible presence of civilians, directed defensive air assets against the compound, officials said.

Afghan and ISAF military officials have launched an incident assessment team to review the factors leading up to the incident.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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