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Afghans Turn-in Numerous Weapons, Explosives

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2010 – A weapons cache and explosive material were taken out of enemy hands after locals turned in the items in eastern and southern Afghanistan today and yesterday, military officials reported.

Today, a man brought 65 directional fragmentation charges to a combat outpost in Kandahar province. The charges appear to have been mass produced and had detonation cords attached to them. The charges have been safeguarded in a destruction pit and will be destroyed in place. International Security Assistance Force officials encourage people who find weapons to alert servicemembers and not handle the devices.

In eastern Afghanistan yesterday, a tip from an Afghan civilian about a possible cache in the Gardez district of Paktiya province led to the discovery of a large jug of homemade explosive material and several artillery rounds. Explosive ordnance disposal teams were dispatched to the locations and the chemicals were safely destroyed with no harm to civilians in the area.

"This is a great example of Afghans using the Guardians of Peace program," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. The program encourages Afghan civilians to use local tip lines to call Afghan and coalition forces and alert them to the presence of illegal weapons and explosives.

The Guardians of Peace allows Afghan citizens to report any illegal weapons or Taliban activity anonymously. When their information is confirmed, they will be monetarily rewarded for useful information. Almost $1 million has been paid to Afghan civilians under the program so far, program officials said.

In other Afghanistan news today:

-- ISAF confirmed the Oct. 10 capture of a Taliban leader who coordinated attacks against Afghan and coalition forces during an overnight operation in Nimroz province. Intelligence tips led the security force to a remote compound in the Khash Rod district to search for the suspect. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After questioning residents, the force detained the man along with four insurgents. The force also found grenades and a pistol, along with a significant amount of Iranian currency at the scene.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban senior leader who leads up to 20 fighters in the Sistani area of Marjah district, along with two of his associates, during an overnight operation in Helmand province. Intelligence tips led the force to a remote compound in Marjah district to search for the man. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After questioning residents, the force identified and detained the targeted man along with his associates.

-- A combined force captured a Taliban leader involved in ambush operations against coalition force convoys and checkpoints, along with two of his associates, during an overnight operation in Paktiya province. The man also is suspected of working with suicide bombers and IEDs. Based on intelligence reports, the force targeted a compound northwest of Shakar Kheyl in Zurmat district to search for the suspect. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, then the joint force cleared and secured the compound. After questioning residents, the security force identified and detained the Taliban leader and his associates.

-- ISAF confirmed the Oct. 8 capture of an Uruzgan-based Taliban senior leader during a combined Afghan and coalition operation in Kandahar province. The man was released from prison in September 2009, but had since re-assumed his role as a Taliban senior leader. Intelligence information led the security force to a remote compound in the Spin Boldak district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully, then secured the area. After initial questioning, the force detained the man along with four of his associates.

-- Eight people were wounded and one killed after a rocket-propelled-grenade was fired at an ISAF helicopter in Kunar province. The CH-47 Chinook helicopter had just landed and was off-loading through the rear ramp when an insurgent RPG was fired into the cargo bay. The explosion resulted in one Afghan interpreter killed, seven ISAF servicemembers and one Afghan Border Police member wounded. There were 26 people on the aircraft. The landing site has been secured by Afghan and ISAF soldiers.

-- Combined forces detained several insurgents in five overnight operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan targeting Taliban and Haqqani Network leadership. An Afghan and coalition patrol detained several insurgents in Wardak province while targeting a Taliban leader who oversees suicide bombers and vehicle-borne IED attacks. Based on intelligence tips, the force targeted a compound in the Nerkh district to search for the man. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, then the force cleared and secured the compound. After questioning residents at the scene, the security force detained the suspecteds.

A separate security force in Khost targeted a Haqqani Network leader who coordinates attacks using rockets, recoilless rifles and machine guns. The force searched a series of compounds in the Sabari district before detaining two suspects without incident. The force found multiple automatic weapons at the scene.

In southern Afghanistan, security forces conducted three operations in Kandahar and Zabul provinces. In Kandahar City, a security force targeted a Taliban senior leader who distributes weapons and coordinates attacks with Taliban associates in the city. The operation resulted in one suspect. In Zabul province, one suspected insurgent was detained in the Shah Joy district as the force searched for a Taliban IED and weapons facilitator in the Qalat and Shah Joy districts.

The security force moved to another compound and continued their search of a Taliban senior leader involved in IED attacks along Highway 1. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained one suspected insurgent.

In yesterday’s operations:

-- An insurgent-placed IED killed an Afghan civilian when the vehicle he was traveling in struck the device in Khost province. According to initial reports, the victim was a construction contractor working on a project at an ISAF combat outpost.

-- Coalition forces conducted a precision airstrike in the Gor Tappa area of Kunduz province targeting a Taliban senior leader. The suspect is believed responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. Based on intelligence sources, coalition forces tracked multiple insurgents to a remote area of Kunduz district. After verifying insurgent activity and careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition aircraft conducted the precision air strike, killing two insurgents. ISAF still is gathering information to confirm the results of the strike. ISAF will provide updates as they become available.

-- Afghan and coalition forces made three large weapons cache and drug finds in Laghman and Kandahar provinces. During a combined mounted patrol, Afghan Border Police confiscated 400 blocks of plastic explosives, 110 pounds of ammonium nitrate, 600 blasting caps and 15 rolls of detonating cord found in a truck in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province. Coalition forces also found 3,410 pounds of hashish in a civilian truck in Spin Boldak. In Laghman province, coalition forces discovered a weapons cache consisting of six landmines, multiple large mortar rounds, and a rocket. Coalition forces also found a weapons cache in the Panjwa'i district of Kandahar province. The cache consisted of 17 hand grenades, an anti-tank mine, an antipersonnel mine, a rocket-propelled grenade, six RPG boosters, a medium machine gun with two spare barrels and an assault rifle.

-- An insurgent-placed IED killed three Afghan civilians and seriously wounded a child in Zabul province. The wounded child was medically evacuated by coalition forces after the attack, which occurred in the Qalat district.

In Oct. 10 operations:

-- A combined force captured a Taliban mid-level leader suspected in IED attacks during an operation in Paktiya province. Intelligence information led the security force to a compound in the Zurmat district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the targeted compound peacefully, then the force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning, the force identified and detained the man along with two of his associates.

-- A combined Afghan and coalition security force killed Ajmal Agha Jan, a Taliban senior leader responsible for emplacing IEDs throughout Helmand province, during an operation in the province. The force also captured a Taliban mid-level leader who directed attacks in the Marjah district. He is suspected of leading as many as 20 fighters. Intelligence information led the security force to a series of compounds in Marjah district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the targeted compound peacefully and then the joint security force cleared the compound. After questioning residents, the force identified and detained the Taliban leader along with two of his associates. During the search, Ajmal Agha Jan threatened the security force with a pistol. The force engaged, killing him. Additionally, the security force found a grenade at the scene.

-- Afghan and coalition forces killed Mullah Jamaluddin, reportedly one of the possible candidates to become the new shadow governor for Badghis province after the former, Mullah Ismail, was killed recently in a combined operation. Jamaluddin was known for trafficking IEDs and weapons throughout Badghis province. The Afghan and coalition force's deliberate campaign to disrupt Taliban operations in Badghis and neighboring Faryab provinces has resulted in six Taliban senior leaders killed, including the shadow governors for Badghis and Faryab provinces, and one captured, during several operations over the last two weeks. Intelligence sources tracked Jamaluddin in the Morghab district. Three armed men threatened the force during the operation. The force responded, killing Jamaluddin and his two accomplices. After the area was secure, the security force searched the area and positively identified Jamaluddin.

-- Afghan and ISAF troops raided a suspected Taliban headquarters in Helmand’s Maiwand district. Multiple intelligence sources led the patrol to the compound, which housed a cell of about 300 fighters. Afghans used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound and then began to clear the buildings. The patrol took fire from armed men in and around the compound. The force returned fire, killing several insurgents. The force also detained several suspects. During a search of the compound, the force found about 30 pressure-plate IEDs, rocket-propelled grenades, RPG launchers, AK-47s, medical equipment, suicide IED vests, and items normally used in command and control activities. The weapons and explosives were destroyed in place.

-- A vehicle-borne IED exploded near an ISAF mounted patrol in the Manduzai district of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan, killing an Afghan child and wounding two others. The wounded children were evacuated to an ISAF medical facility.

-- An insurgent-placed IED killed nine Afghan civilians, including women and children, when the vehicle they were traveling in struck the device in the Zurmat district of Paktiya province. According to initial reports, among the dead are three young children, three women, and several other adults.

-- Afghan and ISAF troops came under fire by insurgents while conducting a dismounted patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand province. Insurgents used small arms and rocket-propelled grenades in the attack. The force identified the insurgent firing position and returned fire. During the ensuing fire fight, the combined force called in air support to suppress the enemy fire. The resulting close-air support and combined force firefight killed more than 15 insurgents. Initial reports indicate that all rounds were observed striking their intended target, causing no damage to local buildings and no civilian casualties.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents and killed two others in operations in Ghazni and Nimroz provinces. In Ghazni province, a combined force targeted a Taliban mid-level leader involved in ambush operations in the Jaghuri district, detaining one suspect. Intelligence information led the force to a remote compound in the Rashidan district. As the force approached the targeted compound, they saw two men run to a nearby outhouse and barricade themselves inside. The force attempted multiple call-out attempts before assessing hostile intent and killing the men. The force cleared and secured the targeted compound and, after questioning residents, detained one suspect. In Nimroz province, a separate combined force detained several suspects while targeting a Taliban leader who plans attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The force detained several suspected insurgents at a remote compound, and found multiple grenades and a pistol along with a significant amount of Iranian currency at the scene.

-- Combined forces killed one insurgent and wounded another in southern Afghanistan after their patrol came under fire. Insurgents used small-arms fire to attack the force in the Zharay district of Kandahar province. The force returned fire and called for close-air support, which killed one and wounded another. Initial assessments indicate the missile impacted approximately 16 yards from the intended target. Several hours after the strike, a local man brought an injured child to a nearby forward operating base, indicating the child's wounds were caused from a mortar strike earlier in the day. The child is being treated by coalition forces. There are also initial reports that two civilians may have been accidentally killed in the strike. Although ground and close air support video from the strike showed no civilians in the area, the combined force will continue to look into the incident.

In Oct. 9 operations:

-- ISAF confirmed Mullah Hezbollah, the deputy Taliban district leader for Chak-e Wardak of Wardak province, was killed during an Oct. 7 operation in that province. Qari Sulayman, a Taliban senior leader responsible for coordinating and conducting improvised explosive device, indirect and direct-fire attacks against coalition forces operating in Tange Valley, also was killed during the operation. He was reportedly planning to flee to Pakistan. Based on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a series of compounds east of the village of Paysh Kor in Chak-e Wardak district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then the combined security force began to clear the buildings. During the clearance, the security force took fire from armed individuals within the compounds. The security force returned fire, killing four, including Mullah Hezbollah and Qari Sulayman. The security force discovered and destroyed an automatic weapon and pistol, along with multiple rifles and grenades at the scene. When the area was secure, the security force conducted initial questioning at the scene before detaining one suspected insurgent.

-- ISAF commander U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus joined British Foreign Secretary William Hague in offering his sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Linda Norgrove, who was killed Oct. 8 by her captors during an attempt to rescue her. “Afghan and coalition security forces did everything in their power to rescue Linda,” Petraeus said. “Linda was a courageous person with a passion to improve the lives of Afghan people, and sadly she lost her life in their service. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents in overnight operations in Kunduz and Khost provinces, targeting Haqqani and Taliban leaders. In Khost province, Afghan and coalition forces continued tracking a Haqqani Network mid-level leader overnight, detaining two suspected insurgents without incident. The targeted individual coordinates and conducts attacks against Afghan National Army and coalition forces. Intelligence information led the security force to a compound in the village of Lewan Kheyl in Sabari district to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained two suspected insurgents. The security force also discovered and destroyed multiple weapons, a blasting cap, explosives and military uniforms at the scene. In northern Kunduz province, a separate security force detained three suspected insurgents while targeting a Taliban mid-level leader for the Gor Tapa area. He leads attacks in Kunduz City using foreign fighters, and is associated with Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leaders in the area. After the Afghan-led call out, the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning of the residents at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgents.

-- Afghan and ISAF troops raided a suspected Taliban headquarters compound in Maiwand district, Helmand province. Multiple intelligence sources led the patrol to the suspected Taliban headquarters, which is the base of operations for a Taliban leader responsible for commanding multiple insurgent cells made up of approximately 300 fighters. Afghans used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound and then began to clear the buildings within the compound. While clearing the compound, the ANSF and ISAF patrol took fire from armed individuals inside and outside the compound. The security force returned fire, killing several insurgents. The security force also detained several suspected insurgents. During a search of the compound, the combined force found approximately 30 pressure-plate improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, RPG launchers, several AK-47s, medical equipment, suicide IED vests, and items normally used in command and control activities. The weapons and explosives were destroyed in place.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents in overnight operations in Zabul and Kandahar provinces targeting Taliban leaders. In Zabul province, the combined security force continued their search for a Taliban senior leader involved in the production, planning and execution of improvised explosive device attacks along Highway 1. Intelligence information led the security force to a series of compounds in Qalat district to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained several suspected insurgents. A separate security force targeted a Taliban senior leader for central Uruzgan province. His territory includes Mirabad Valley, Deh Rafshan and the Baluch River Valley, in Kandahar province. The targeted individual was released from prison in July 2009 and immediately re-assumed his role as a Taliban senior leader. The security force went to a remote compound in Spin Boldak district, and after an Afghan-led call-out, the security force detained several suspected insurgents.

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NATO International Security Assistance Force


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