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Afghan, Coalition Troops Capture Haqqani Leader

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2010 – An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani network leader who handled the command and control of insurgent attacks during an overnight operation in Afghanistan’s Paktiya province, military officials reported.

The captured leader also was involved in attacks against coalition force checkpoints.

Intelligence reports led the security force to a remote compound in Zurmat district to search for the man. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, then the security force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the force identified and detained the man, along with one of his associates.

The security force also discovered and destroyed an automatic weapon along with multiple grenades at the scene.

In yesterday’s operations:

-- A combined Afghan and coalition patrol came under small-arms fire from insurgents after the patrol struck an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. The patrol returned fire after positively identifying the insurgents’ positions. During the engagement, two Afghan men driving a vehicle near the convoy failed to respond to the patrol’s warning signals to stop. The coalition force saw rounds impacting near the convoy that came from the direction of the vehicle. Perceiving the vehicle to be a threat, the combined force engaged the vehicle with small-arms fire. One of the men was shot and died while waiting to be medically evacuated by helicopter. Coalition forces then transported the men to a local Afghan police station.

-- ISAF troops repelled an insurgent attack while conducting a dismounted patrol in the Sangin district of Helmand province. Initially coming under attack from small-arms fire, coalition forces identified the firing position as a building and returned fire. After the insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades, coalition forces called for close-air support. The insurgent position was engaged with precision weapons with all ordnance was observed impacting upon the intended target. Initial reports indicate more than five insurgents were killed with no civilian casualties.

-- Coalition forces conducted a precision airstrike in Takhar province, killing Qari Mahmad Umar, an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan senior leader, who was serving as the Taliban district leader for Khwajah Bahawuddin. Umar was an IED expert and trainer also involved in moving supplies. Acting on intelligence tips, coalition forces tracked Umar to an open area in the Bahawuddin district. After careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition forces conducted a precision airstrike. Although a ground force was unable to conduct an immediate assessment of the area, they confirmed Umar, along with one of his associates, was killed in the strike.

-- In Nimroz province, an Afghan and coalition security force targeting the Taliban shadow governor for Khash Rod district of Nimroz province, detained two suspected insurgents. Intelligence reports led the security force to a remote compound in Khash Rod district to search for the district governor. The joint security force cleared and secured the compound before conducting initial questioning of the residents at the scene. Afterward, the security force detained the suspected insurgents.

-- A separate security force targeted a Taliban IED senior leader known to construct suicide vests and conduct IED attacks in Kandahar City. The force detained two suspected insurgents during the operation in Kandahar province. After clearing and securing a compound, the force conducted initial questioning at the scene. Afterward, they detained the suspects.

-- Afghan and coalition forces in Khost province continued tracking a Haqqani network mid-level leader overnight, detaining two suspected insurgents without incident. The targeted man coordinates attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and places explosives in Afghan residences. Intelligence information led the force to a compound in the village of Paru Kheyl in the Sabari district to search for the targeted man. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings, then the force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained the suspects, and seized multiple automatic weapons at the scene.

-- A combined force captured a Taliban senior leader responsible for indirect fire attacks against Forward Operating Base Shank and IED attacks in the Baraki Barak district in Logar province. The senior leader reportedly played a role in the kidnapping and subsequent murder of two U.S. sailors in July. Based on intelligence tips, the force targeted a compound in the Pul-e ‘Alam district to search for the man. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for occupants to exit the buildings, then the force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the force identified and detained the senior leader along with two of his associates.

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Related Sites:
NATO International Security Assistance Force


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