Air Strike Kills Operative Planning Pre-election Attacks
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2010 A coalition air strike last night killed a senior enemy commander involved in bombing attacks in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, military officials reported.
Intelligence sources had been tracking Nur Mohammad for weeks, officials said, and he was planning attacks leading up to Afghanistan’s Sept. 18 parliamentary elections.
"This was a very successful strike which stopped a very dangerous individual from conducting further attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces," said Air Force Col. James Dawkins, director of International Security Assistance Force Joint Command’s Combined Joint Operations Center. "The Afghan people deserve to cast their votes without fear of attacks from the insurgent groups. We are continuously tracking them and taking action before they're able to carry out their plans."
Intelligence sources tracked Nur Mohammed and two armed insurgents to a field in Kabul province’s remote Musahi district. After careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition aircraft conducted a precision air strike on the insurgents.
A follow-on ground security force confirmed that Nur Mohammad and his two associates were dead. The security force also found automatic weapons, grenades and bomb-making materials.
In other news from Afghanistan, an Afghan and coalition security force detained eight suspected insurgents in Zabul province yesterday while in pursuit of a Taliban commander operating in the province’s Qalat and Shah Joy districts. The commander directs, facilitates and personally conducts roadside-bomb attacks on Highway 1, a major route used by civilians. Afghan and coalition forces did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
In Kandahar province yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces detained five insurgents, including a Taliban commander operating in the Arghandab district and Kandahar City. The commander orchestrated and ordered attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and profited from weapons trafficking in the region.
The security force also found weapons, pistol belts, magazines and body armor. They did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
Afghan and coalition forces in Paktia province detained three insurgents yesterday, including a Taliban facilitator for small and medium weapons and bomb-making materials. The commander was also involved in coordinating future attacks in the province. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
Also yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces in Khost province detained several suspected insurgents while in pursuit of a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator responsible for planning and executing indirect-fire and bombing attacks in the Sabari and Musa Khel districts. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
Afghan and coalition security forces conducted more than 40 operations in 12 Afghan provinces in the past week, officials said, leading to the capture of dozens of commanders, facilitators and commissioners for the Taliban and Haqqani networks.
Clear rules of engagement and extreme measures taken to avoid civilian casualties resulted in more than 85 percent of the operations conducted without shots fired. Afghan-led operations resulted in more than 20 targeted individuals captured and three killed.
In the north, a Taliban commissioner for six Takhar province districts was captured in the Darquad district Sept. 4. The commissioner facilitated foreign fighter suicide bombers while leading attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces in the province. Additionally, the security force killed Attallah, the Taliban district commander for Darquad during the same operation.
In the bordering provinces of Khost and Nangarhar, security forces targeted several insurgent leaders, operatives and facilitators. Throughout the week, the assault force detained three Haqqani network leaders and killed Hazrat Muhammad, a Taliban commander who conducted attacks in Nangarhar. Two additional Taliban commanders were also detained.
In other eastern provinces, separate assault forces captured a Taliban bomb-attack operative, facilitator and subcommander, significantly degrading the networks in the region, officials said.
Assault forces in the south over the past week captured eight Taliban commanders and facilitators in Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul provinces. In Kandahar province alone, six Taliban leaders were detained, including the deputy district commander for Dand.