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Taliban Leader’s Death Confirmed; Forces Seize Insurgent Sub-Commander

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2010 – A Taliban sub-commander was captured and several other suspected insurgents were killed or captured yesterday by Afghan and international security forces, military officials reported.

Officials also confirmed the death last week of Mullah Zergay, the senior Taliban commander for Afghanistan’s Kandahar City region, during a firefight with Afghan-international forces during an operation in the Zharay district.

During an operation in Logar province yesterday, a combined force captured a Taliban sub-commander who is responsible for improvised explosive device and small-arms attacks against coalition forces. The combined force was searching a compound in the village of Muchkeyl in the Kharwar district after intelligence information confirmed insurgent activity.

When confronted, the Taliban sub-commander, who has ties to the Haqqani network, immediately surrendered and identified himself as the targeted insurgent.

Also yesterday, a separate Afghan-international security force action resulted in the detention of several individuals suspected of insurgent activity in Ghazni province. The combined force detained the suspected insurgents while searching a compound in the village of Bar Nowruzk, Qarah Bagh district, after intelligence information confirmed insurgent activity. No shots were fired and no one was harmed during the above operations.

During another operation yesterday, a coalition helicopter attacked and killed multiple insurgents as they were moving to a fighting position in Farah province. Aircraft were directed to a cave complex in a rural area of Gulistan district, after intelligence information verified insurgent activity. After observing widely separated groups of armed men moving to prepared fighting positions away from the caves, aircraft engaged a group, killing the insurgents. A ground search force found two automatic rifles, ammunition and a grenade.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Mullah Zergay, the Taliban commander of the Kandahar city area, was killed last week by Afghan-international forces during an operation conducted in the Zharay district.

Zergay had directed insurgent activities in the Arghandab and Zharay districts, including Kandahar City. He used explosives in nearly all of his operations and was directly responsible for multiple deaths in Kandahar City, alone. He rose to power through violent intimidation campaigns against civilians and by leading kidnappings and executions of government employees and village elders.

After tracking his location for several weeks, an Afghan-international security force moved to capture Zergay in a Taliban safe haven area south of Kudeza'i in Zharay district. As the assault force approached, several armed insurgents attacked it with machine-gun fire and rocket propelled grenades.

The assault force returned fire and during the ensuing firefight Zergay and several members of his security detachment were killed. Zergay's death is considered to be a major loss for the Taliban leadership in southern Afghanistan.

 

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