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Helicopter Lands Hard in Afghanistan; Operations Continue

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2010 – An International Security Assistance Force helicopter made a hard landing along the perimeter of a coalition force camp in Kabul province, Afghanistan, today.

Four passengers suffered minor injuries. The incident is under investigation.

In yesterday’s Afghanistan news:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents yesterday in Nangarhar province, including a Taliban subcommander operating in Khugyani district who was linked to several attacks against coalition forces, including a rocket attack on Jalalabad Airfield on Christmas day last year. The security force targeted a compound in Behsud district in pursuit of the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit the compound and then secured the area. After questioning the residents, the security force detained the commander and several suspected insurgents for further questioning. An AK-47 rifle and three ammunition magazines were found at the scene.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained one suspected insurgent and killed one in Logar province last night during offensive clearing operations. Afghan and coalition security forces targeted several areas suspected of insurgent activity in the Charkh and Baraki Barak districts of Logar province. Near Qaryeh-ya Gol'alam in Baraki Barak one insurgent was killed after he attempted to attack the security force using a hand grenade. The combined force also detained one suspected insurgent in the same area after an automatic weapon and chest rack were found in his home. The women and children were protected throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force last night detained two suspected Taliban insurgents an operation in Zabul province.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force killed one insurgent and detained several other suspected insurgents in Helmand province last night while in pursuit of a Taliban bomb maker who profits from the trafficking of improvised explosive device materials, weapons, and ammunition throughout the province. The Taliban bomb maker also commands his own group of fighters and orders improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces killed several insurgents and wounded two in Ghazni province last night while in pursuit of a Taliban subcommander who operates mainly in the Mota Khan district of Paktika province. The security force also detained two suspected insurgents.

In July 24 Afghanistan news:

-- Two International Security Assistance Force members yesterday departed their compound in Kabul City in a vehicle and did not return. The unit dispatched vehicles and rotary-winged assets to search for them and their vehicle, and the search is ongoing. Details will be released as they become available.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected insurgents in Khost province including a Haqqani Network sub-commander responsible for coordinating and conducting improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan civilians, and Afghan and coalition forces in the region. Multiple rifles and grenades were found at the scene. No shots were fired and the women and children were protected throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Zabul province while in pursuit of a Taliban commander, who coordinates attacks against Afghan civilians, Afghan and coalition forces. He also orchestrated kidnappings of Afghan government officials, Afghan National Security Forces and civilians in the Qalat district. The security force discovered and destroyed improvised explosive device materials at the scene. No shots were fired and the women and children were protected throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Kandahar province last night including a Taliban improvised explosive device cell leader operating in the Sanjeray area. The cell leader was also responsible for coordinating supply and logistical issues with Pakistan-based facilitators. The security force detained the IED cell leader and several suspected insurgents for further questioning. No shots were fired and the women and children were protected throughout the search.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained two suspected insurgents in Logar province during offensive clearing operations. The first security force targeted a series of compounds in the village of Mollakay in Charkh district and Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit each compound. After questioning the residents, the security force detained one suspected insurgent for further questioning.

A second security force targeted several tents and buildings in a remote area in Kharwar district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully identify themselves to the security force. After questioning everyone present, the security force detained one suspected insurgent for further questioning. No shots were fired and the women and children were protected throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Helmand province last night while in pursuit of a Taliban commander for Nad 'Ali district. After questioning the residents, the security force detained several suspected insurgents for further questioning. The women and children were protected throughout the search.

-- The ISAF confirmed the capture of a Haqqani Network subcommander linked to attacks against coalition forces and responsible for facilitating the movement of weapons and ammunition into the Terayzai district of Khost during an Afghan and coalition security operation. The subcommander was captured along with a Haqqani Network facilitator who primarily planned and conducted attacks against coalition forces and Afghan officials throughout Khost province. The security force detained the subcommander and facilitator for further questioning.

In July 23 Afghanistan news:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force killed two armed men and detained several suspected insurgents in Khost province while in pursuit of a Haqqani facilitator for remote controlled improvised explosive devices who also plans and conducts attacks against coalition forces in the area. The combined security force went to a series of compounds north of Khvajeh Mohammad Kala in Terayzai district in pursuit of the Haqqani facilitator. As the security force began entering the buildings, two men armed with AK-47's and chest racks failed to comply with warnings and demonstrated a threat towards the combined security force. The combined force used precision fire, killing two insurgents. Multiple automatic weapons, magazines and grenades were found at the scene. After the compounds were cleared and secured, the security force detained several suspected insurgents for further questioning. The women and children present were protected throughout the search by Afghan forces.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained four suspected insurgents in Paktika province while in pursuit of a Taliban subcommander involved in improvised explosive device attacks against coalition forces. The Taliban subcommander also acts as a Mullah who blesses the actions of foreign-influenced insurgents who intimidate the population in order to disrupt the security efforts of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Mota Khan. No shots were fired during the operation and the women and children were protected throughout the search. About 300,000 Pakistani rupees also were found at the scene.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Baghlan province while in pursuit of a Taliban district commander for Baghlan-e Jadid district and a Taliban military commander in charge of numerous insurgent fighters.

-- An Afghan-coalition security force detained two men and seized a suspected enemy weapons cache in Surobi district in Kabul province. The cache contained four 107 mm rockets and one fuse, two 76 mm recoilless rockets, two .22-caliber pistols and magazines, two improvised explosive devices, one .303-caliber rifle with a loaded magazine and one box of machine gun ammunition. Electrical components and detonation cord were also confiscated.

-- An Afghan National Police Special Response Team killed several insurgents at an illegal checkpoint along Highway 1 in Wardak province. According to ANP officials, illegal checkpoints are common methods of harassment by insurgents, who use these checkpoints to extort money from travelers and to identify individuals they believe favor Afghan and coalition forces. The six ANP officers were traveling together on leave through Shekhabad district when they approached several insurgents in the road. After being forced to stop and exit their vehicle, the ANP officers were guided off the road toward a ditch by two insurgent members. The insurgents, unaware the men they stopped were ANP officers, were caught by surprise as the officers were able to gain the upper-hand, draw their pistols and shoot and kill both insurgents, according to ANP officials. A third gunman fired on the officers, forcing them to take cover and then flee the checkpoint on foot. ANP officials said the officers fled to a nearby Afghan National Army base to gather reinforcements, and returned to the scene to take down the false checkpoint. No ANA or ANP personnel were injured during the engagement.

"This incident shows the capabilities of the ANP," said Lt. Col. Donald Franklin, Special Operations Task Force - East commander. "They've become a highly skilled force, trained and committed to protecting the people of Afghanistan from insurgent intimidation and extortion."

-- Afghan National Army Commandos, assisted by U.S. Special Operations Forces, killed a large group of insurgent fighters while pursuing a known Taliban network in Nuristan province. Afghan soldiers assigned to the 3rd Company, 1st Commando Kandak along with U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted clearing operations near the village of Awlagul in Barg-e Matal district to disrupt the Taliban activity, according to coalition officials. As the partnered force entered the area, coalition officials said their forces were met with heavy resistance from insurgents using small arms and automatic weapons. During the search of the surrounding area, the Afghan-led force found 35 rocket propelled grenades, six propellant charges, 1000 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition, 500 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, numerous mortar rounds, and several hundred pounds of explosives along with a spool of fuse and blasting caps. The cache was destroyed on site. No non-combatants were harmed during the operation and no property damage was reported.

-- ISAF officials are investigating an incident that occurred near the town of Khaki Bandeh in the Watapur district of Kunar province that resulted in the death of an Afghan civilian. Three other civilians were wounded. When ISAF forces received intelligence reports of an imminent attack against a combat outpost they fired two mortar rounds near a historic insurgent firing position. The position had been used several times in the past week to conduct small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade attacks on the outpost. Following the mortar fire, an Afghan civilian from Khaki Bandeh reported that one civilian was killed and three wounded. The civilian refused coalition assistance and the injured were taken to a local hospital.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Afghan citizens," said Lt. Col. Randall Harris, Task Force Bastogne deputy commanding officer. "We do everything within our power to prevent civilian casualties in the course of operations -- the safety of the Afghan people is very important to the International Security Assistance Forces." The incident is under investigation.

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