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Afghan-coalition Force Kills Taliban Leader

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2010 – A combined Afghan-coalition security force today targeted and killed a Taliban leader during an operation in Afghanistan's Helmand province, military officials reported.

Intelligence reports and tips from local citizens led the Afghan-coalition force to the target’s location, where they were immediately engaged by three insurgents. The Afghan and coalition forces returned fire, killing the attackers. After securing the compound, Afghan and coalition forces attempted to call out any additional insurgents and civilians, but were unsuccessful.

The Afghan and coalition forces then forcibly entered the compound. During the search they again came under fire by a lone insurgent, who was hiding within the building. The insurgent was killed in the ensuing fire fight.

In other news today:

-- Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces secured a large weapons cache in the Jalriz district of Maydan Wardak province. Acting on a tip from a local informant, the operation netted six 75 mm recoilless rifle rounds, eight fuses, two 60 mm mortar rounds, one 82 mm recoilless round, seven 85 mm recoilless rounds, 18 rocket-propelled grenade 9 rockets, and four RPG 7 rockets. The cache was destroyed in place.

In Aug. 29 news:

-- Two insurgents wearing suicide improvised explosive device vests were killed in an explosion in Farah city. According to reports, the two insurgents attempted to scale the perimeter wall of the governor's compound when at least one of the suicide vests detonated. The blast damaged part of the perimeter wall and blew out windows inside the compound and at a nearby school.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several insurgents in Paktiya province while in pursuit of a Taliban commander who coordinates suicide bombings throughout the area. Acting on intelligence tips, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound east of Malekshir Kala in Zormat district to search for the commander. Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning all the residents at the scene, the security force detained the insurgents. The security force also found multiple automatic weapons, magazines and ammunition at the scene. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- An Afghan parliamentary candidate was assassinated in the Shindand district of Heart province. Abdul Manan, a candidate in the next parliamentary election, was shot in the Shindand city center by a man who approached him on a motorbike. Manan’s relatives attempted to take him to a Heart hospital, but Manan died from his injuries on the way. "Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "We condemn the actions of the shooter and hope the community rallies together to turn him in."

-- The International Security Assistance Force confirmed the capture of a Taliban facilitator during an Afghan-coalition security operation in Kandahar province. The insurgent procured and moved weapons and coordinated IED attacks. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound outside Deh Savzi in Arghandab district to search for the facilitator. The combined force used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the area. The security force detained the facilitator and six associates after interviewing the residents on scene. The security force also found an IED initiator at the scene. Afghan women and children were protected during the search.

-- An Afghan-led force detained several suspected insurgents in Kandahar province while in pursuit of a Taliban commander believed to be responsible for directing IED attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces. The commander also allegedly coordinates the movement of supplies and fighters throughout the province. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound in Senjaray in Kandahar district to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the area. The security force detained the suspected insurgents after interviewing the residents on scene. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several insurgents in Khost province while in pursuit of a Haqqani network facilitator whose primary role is coordinating the movement of fighters throughout Khost, Paktiya and Paktika provinces. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a remote series of compounds north of Ziarat-e Bad in Khost district to search for the facilitator. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning all the residents at the scene, the security force detained the insurgents. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Coalition forces carried out an air strike targeting a senior Taliban commander south of Sangin, Helmand province. The target, Qari Hazrat, who had been conducting hit-and-run attacks in the Sangin and Qaleh Ye Gaz areas against Afghan and coalition forces, was killed in the strike, along with three other insurgents.

-- Afghan and coalition forces captured a Haqqani network commander and several of his associates during an operation in Khost province. The commander and his fighters are believed to be involved in the Aug. 28 attack on Forward Operating Bases Salerno and Chapman. The commander also is believed to be involved in IED attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces. Acting on intelligence tips, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a series of buildings east of Khodizali in Terayzai district to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning all the residents at the scene, the security force identified and detained the commander along with several Haqqani fighters. The security force discovered and destroyed a suicide vest and multiple grenade launchers, hand grenades, automatic weapons, magazines and ammunition. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition forces captured a suspected Taliban IED facilitator during an operation in Kandahar. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a series of compounds in Sahebdad Ghundey in Kandahar district to search for the facilitator. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning all the residents at the scene, the security force identified and detained the facilitator. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several insurgents in Paktiya province while in pursuit of a Taliban commander who coordinates suicide bombings throughout Paktiya. Acting on intelligence tips, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound east of Malekshir Kala in Zormat district to search for the commander. Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning all the residents at the scene, the security force detained the insurgents. The security force also found multiple automatic weapons, magazines and ammunition at the scene. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition forces confirmed the capture of a Haqqani network commander suspected of involvement in the Aug. 28 attacks on Forward Operating Bases Salerno and Chapman in Khost province. Two other insurgents also were detained. Acting on intelligence tips, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound south of Bakhtanah in Sabari district to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning the residents at the scene, the security force detained the commander and two additional insurgents. The security force also found multiple automatic weapons at the scene.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces captured a Taliban judge with influence in Nad 'Ali and Marjah districts of Helmand province. The assault force targeted a compound west of Lashkar Gah in Marjah district in pursuit of the judge. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully, and then secured the area. After questioning all of the residents at the scene, the security force detained the judge. The security force also found 15 pounds of wet opium at the scene. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

In Aug. 28 news:

-- A joint incident assessment team recently found no evidence to conclude coalition force helicopters were responsible for the deaths of three Afghan National Police members Aug. 21. In initial reporting, it was believed the deaths were caused by an International Security Assistance Force coalition air weapons team, but closer examination indicates there is no evidence to support the air-weapons team caused the ANP casualties, according to the report. The team traveled to Mazar-e-Sharif to examine the facts of the case where three ANP officers were killed and nine others wounded in Jowzjan province, allegedly by coalition helicopters. The team interviewed people involved in the incident and reviewed tapes from the helicopters. The team was made up of Afghanistan-government appointed representatives from the ministries of Interior and Defense, as well as a general officer and staff representatives from the ISAF Joint Command. In its report, the team determined the one Hellfire missile and 80 rounds of 30 mm fire impacted a positively identified insurgent firing position. The review of gun-tape footage clearly indicates the fire provided by the air weapons team impacted a hilltop where enemy activity was present. Prior to the operation beginning, an order was issued to the ANA commander to have all personnel remain inside the compound. An ANA chief later acknowledged he understood all personnel were to remain in the compound. It was the conclusion of the team that no coalition fire impacted inside the compound where the ANA forces were located. Also in the report, the team noted the engagement with enemy forces began several hours before the helicopters arrived on location and lasted several hours after, making it possible casualties resulted from other small arms or indirect fire before or after the air weapons team was in the area.

-- A joint incident assessment team returned to Kabul following a trip to Badghis province where two Spanish military instructors, a Spanish interpreter and an Afghan National Police member were killed following an Aug. 25 gun fight with an Afghan National Army servicemember. Following its assessment, it was confirmed that the Afghan servicemember killed the Spanish military instructors and the Spanish interpreter in an unprovoked attack. The team determined that the ANP servicemember had been arrested and disarmed a year ago for links to terrorists. Following his arrest, two local elders established the shooter as a credible member of society and he was therefore allowed to go free and subsequently re-enlist with the ANP. According to the report, the shooting was unprovoked and likely caused by the shooter's links to terrorists -- the shooter's brother-in-law is a known terrorist in the area. Within 25 minutes of the shooting incident, a violent demonstration took place at the former provincial reconstruction team base in Qal'ah Ye Now, the same site where the shootings occurred. The joint team discovered that bricks used to attack the PRT had been prepositioned in piles prior to the demonstration. They also discovered that some demonstrators were in possession of hand grenades, Molotov cocktails and weapons upon arrival. During the demonstration Spanish military instructors remained inside the base with the ANP trainees. The report indicates that ANP outside the base responded to the demonstration and took control of the situation. The violent demonstration resulted in 25 wounded, 11 by gunfire; however, it is unclear how the wounds were suffered since many of the demonstrators were firing guns, throwing bricks and grenades. The report confirmed that none of the injuries were caused by ISAF forces. The report indicates that the attack and demonstration were coordinated and the result of terrorist activity.

-- Afghan and coalition forces operating in Paktiya province pursued and killed a Taliban commander responsible for indirect- and direct-fire attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The deceased insurgent commander, Naman, also coordinated the movement of IEDs, ammunition, supplies and fighters. Seven other insurgents also were killed during the operation. As the security force approached the targeted compounds west of Kowti Sheyl in Zormat district, several armed insurgents ran from the compounds. Two of the insurgents hid outside the compound and were engaged by coalition aircraft after they threatened the security force. Two additional armed insurgents ran in a different direction. As the security force attempted to interdict them, the insurgents demonstrated hostile intent and also were killed. During a follow-on inspection, the security force found automatic weapons, grenades, magazines and IED-making material with the insurgents. In the compound, four insurgents hid inside one of the buildings and engaged the force with a machine gun as they attempted to clear the building. The security force returned fire and killed the insurgents. Inside the building, the security force found the machine gun, multiple automatic weapons, 16 grenades, 25 magazines, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with multiple rounds and a bayonet. They also found IED-making material including blasting caps and other components in the building. After the fighting ceased, Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit the remainder of the buildings. After questioning the residents on scene, the security force detained several insurgents. The security force protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- A coalition force air strike was conducted against a senior Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan commander who facilitates foreign fighters and leads attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Kunduz. The commander has a standing relationship with senior Taliban members in Kunduz and his fighters are integrated with Taliban fighters in the area. Intelligence tracked three armed insurgents traveling on a motorcycle south of Mang Tapa in Chahar Darah district. After verifying insurgent activity and ensuring no civilians were present, coalition aircraft engaged the insurgents. Coalition forces did not dispatch a follow-on ground force, but assessed the air strike killed at least one insurgent and wounded another. No civilians were injured or killed in this operation.

-- Afghan and coalition forces killed more than 30 Haqqani network insurgents, including 13 wearing suicide vests, as they attempted to storm Forward Operating Bases Salerno and Chapman and government buildings in Khost during an Aug. 28 morning attack. Mudasir, a Haqqani suicide bomber and IED facilitator, was killed as he attempted to flee as the attack was defeated by Afghan and ISAF security forces. Overnight, ANSF and ISAF forces capitalized on intelligence tips to capture a commander involved in planning the attacks. The attack was the latest of several insurgent attempts to conduct spectacular attacks in the last several months. All of the attempts, including attacks in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Bagram and Kabul failed to achieve any significant operational effect.

"The insurgents' attempts to attack ISAF or Afghan government facilities were defeated again," said Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, ISAF spokesman. "The insurgent leadership who direct these ill-conceived attacks far from the actual battlefield knows their low-level fighters have no chance of success against these targets." Since May 2010, there have been five failed insurgent attacks on ISAF or Afghan government targets garnering significant attention resulting in dozens of insurgents captured or killed.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several insurgents in Nangarhar province while in pursuit of a Taliban operational commander directly linked to a Feb. 22 suicide bomber attack that killed Khogyani elder Haji Zaman. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a series of compounds outside Khozakheyl in Khugyani district to search for the commander. Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning the residents on scene, the security force detained the insurgents. They also discovered multiple weapons on the scene. The security force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search. No civilians were killed or injured during this operation.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents in Helmand province while in pursuit of a Taliban commander who is a key facilitator of weapons and supplies for other Taliban commanders operating in northern Helmand. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound in remote Marjah district to search for the commander. Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the area. The security force detained the suspected insurgents after questioning the residents on scene. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- More than 10 suspected insurgents were detained in Kandahar during an Afghan-led operation in pursuit of a Taliban commander. The insurgent commander, who profits from weapons trafficking, mediates allocation disputes, and is a middle-man between other senior-level leaders in the province. Afghan and coalition forces went to a compound west of Seyyedan in Arghandab district to search for the commander. Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the areas. The security force detained the suspected insurgents after interviewing the residents. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained one suspected insurgent in Kunduz province while in pursuit of the Taliban district commander for Aliabad, who is directly involved in the planning of attacks against coalition forces. Earlier this month, an Afghan and coalition force killed Abu Baqir, a dual-hatted Taliban sub-commander and al-Qaida group leader, after a coalition force air weapons team witnessed Baqir and a group of insurgents attacking an Aliabad police station. Afghan and coalition forces went to a compound east of Gerdan in Chahar Darah district to search for the commander. The security force used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the areas. After questioning the residents on scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgent. The security force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children during the search.

-- ISAF officials confirmed the capture of a Taliban facilitator involved in the acquisition of military materials during an Afghan and coalition force operation in Kandahar province. The captured Taliban member also is responsible for coordinating IED attacks. Afghan and coalition forces targeted a compound outside Deh Savzi in Arghandab district to search for the facilitator. Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the areas. The security force detained the facilitator and six associates after interviewing the residents on scene. The security force also found an IED initiator at the scene. The security force protected women and children during the search.

-- The commander of ISAF Joint Command has ordered an investigation into the allegations of civilian casualties in Baghlan province during an Aug. 22 operation. The investigation was ordered based on information contained in the joint initial assessment team's report of the operation. The assessment team determined that several rounds from coalition helicopters fell short, missing the intended target and instead striking two buildings, which may have resulted in civilian casualties. Insurgents were using the building as a base of operations; however, it was not the intended target. "We are here to protect the people of Afghanistan. Civilian casualties reduce the confidence of the Afghan people and erodes trust placed in us," said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, ISAF Joint Command commander. "This is a serious issue and that's why I ordered this investigation. We will find out what happened during this operation." Results of the investigation will be provided upon completion.

In Aug. 27 news:

-- Afghan and coalition security forces operating in Kandahar province captured a Taliban commander believed to be responsible for IED and rocket-propelled grenade attacks. The Taliban commander also is believed to have facilitated weapons and IEDs for future attacks. The assault force targeted series of tents west of Hajji Azaz in Kandahar district in pursuit of the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the tents peacefully, and then secured the area. After questioning all of the residents at the scene, the security force identified and detained the commander along with two associates. The security force did not fire weapons and protected women and children during the search.

 

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