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Afghan, International Forces Kill, Capture Insurgents

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2010 – Afghan and international forces killed a Taliban commander and other insurgents in Afghanistan’s western province of Farah, military officials reported.

Coalition forces killed the commander and several other insurgents during an operation in the western province of Farah in the past two days. Aircraft engaged insurgents with precision air strikes, killing several, in a rural area of Gulistan district after the forces observed armed men moving through a known insurgent safe haven.

The commander, Mullah Akhtar, had close ties with Taliban and al-Qaida senior leaders. He was believed responsible for training insurgent fighters from Iran and helped resolve disputes between militant networks.

A coalition search team later approached the strike area and encountered several heavily armed insurgents in a cave. The insurgents were engaged and killed in the ensuing firefight. The search team found rocket-propelled grenade launchers with RPG rounds, heavy machine guns, automatic rifles and ammunition.

In other coalition operations in Afghanistan, a combined security force detained a suspected insurgent in Kandahar province today.

The combined force went to a compound in western Kandahar City, after intelligence indicated insurgent activity there. The force detained the suspect for further questioning. No shots were fired and no one was harmed during the operation.

Yesterday, Afghan soldiers, supported by international troops, discovered a weapons cache in Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province. The cache contained 88 grenades, eight containers of grenade fuses, three rocket-propelled grenade fuel cells, three 82 mm mortars and seven electronic detonators. The mortars were destroyed and the grenades were removed for further investigation.

In other Afghanistan operations yesterday:

A combined force captured a Haqqani network improvised explosive device cell leader and several other insurgents in Khost province. The combined force went to a compound north of Mehdi Kheyl after insurgents were seen implanting IEDs nearby. The assault force captured the targeted man and other insurgents while searching the buildings.

The Haqqani leader is believed responsible for emplacing IEDs, acquiring and distributing weapons, and coordinating suicide bombings. No shots were fired and no one was harmed during the operation.

Another combined force killed and captured a number of insurgents while pursuing a Taliban IED cell commander in Logar province. The force moved in on a compound in Nawshad, Charkh district, after intelligence indicated insurgent activity there. As the assault force approached the compound, they received hostile fire. While clearing the compound, several insurgents were killed or captured. The combined security team found a machine gun, multiple automatic rifles, grenades and ammunition.

In other Afghanistan news, more than 260 new Afghan national security force members, trained in western Afghanistan, joined their operational units June 4. In Adraskan, 241 officers of the Afghan National Civil Order Police graduated from the NATO Regional Training Centre operated by the Carabinieri, Italy’s federal police force.

During training, which lasted 14 weeks, participants were taught basic police skills and techniques, to including counter-IED training, first aid, weapons use and driving, and anti-riot and urban combat training.

The centre has conducted 30 training courses, attended by nearly 4,000 participants, since November. Also on June 4, 24 members of the Afghan Border Police were graduated from the Advanced Patrolman Tactics Course. The course was live-fire intensive and consisted of advanced tactics, law and police procedures and driver’s training.

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