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NATO Condemns Suicide Attack in Afghanistan

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27, 2010 – NATO’s International Security Assistance Force joined Afghan President Hamid Karzai in condemning today’s insurgent suicide attack that killed at least one civilian in Kandahar City, military officials reported.

The attack also wounded at least six civilians and eight Afghan security force members, and resulted in substantial damage to a nearby mosque.

“This attack clearly shows how desperate insurgents are to prevent the Afghan people from governing their own stable and free country,” said Navy Rear Adm. Vic Beck, ISAF director of public affairs. “We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the murdered civilian, and wish for a quick recovery for all those wounded in today’s attack. We will continue to work with our Afghan counterparts to ensure that those responsible will be brought to justice.”

In other news, more than 10 insurgents were killed and others wounded by Afghan and ISAF forces during separate clearing operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan over the last 24 hours.

In Helmand province’s Musa Qal’ah district coalition forces spotted insurgents emplacing an improvised explosive device. After gaining positive identification, coalition forces engaged the enemy position with small arms fire, killing several insurgents.

In Kapisa province’s Tagab district insurgents engaged a combined patrol with small arms fire. After gaining positive identification, combined forces returned fire to the enemy position, killing and wounding numerous insurgents.

Afghan and ISAF forces also discovered several caches in eastern and southern Afghanistan. In Kandahar, Ghazni and Logar provinces, combined patrols found four weapons and IED components in caches in Panjwa’i, Bahram-e Shahid, Muhammad Aghah and Arghandab districts during separate clearing operations. The caches consisted of 1,600 .50-caliber rounds, 1,650 12.7 mm rounds, 12 chest racks, 11 pressure plates, 260 14.5 mm rounds, three rocket-propelled grenades, 200 7.62 mm rounds, 122 82 mm mortar rounds and several IED-making electrical components.

A combined patrol discovered a large weapons and IED components cache in Uruzgan province’s Chorah district consisting of 30 .50 caliber, 100 .50-caliber armor-piercing rounds, 500 7.62 mm rounds, four AK-47s, 30 9 mm rounds, two guns, three chest racks, one radio rigged for radio command device, six RPGs and two fuses. Initial reports indicate no civilians were injured and no damage was reported during the weapons clearing operations. The weapons were confiscated and will be destroyed.

In operations yesterday:

-- Several insurgents were targeted during a joint Afghan-ISAF vehicle interdiction operation in Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Numerous insurgents were killed in two separate incidents when they fled from their vehicles and attempted to engage the force. Several suspected insurgents were also detained during the operation. They were taken by Afghan authorities for processing and further questioning.

-- Coalition forces conducted a precision airstrike in Ghazni province targeting a suspected Taliban IED construction facility. Intelligence sources indicated that a compound frequented by a Taliban leader responsible for attacks on Afghan security forces in the Gelan district was likely being used as an IED-making facility in order to kill Afghan and coalition security force personnel. Recent reporting indicates his group was also making two suicide vehicle-borne IEDs to be used against coalition forces operating in the province. After careful planning to protect any civilians and property in the area, coalition forces conducted a precision airstrike on the compound.

-- In Kunduz province, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a Taliban leader for Chahar Darah and Aliabad districts, detaining three suspected insurgents. The targeted leader has connections to a Taliban explosives and weapons facilitator who is involved with producing and distributing IEDs and facilitates the movement of suicide bombers. The security force followed intelligence tips to the potential compound of the Taliban leader in Kunduz district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully before the joint security force cleared and secured the building. While securing the building, they found a child who had been injured during the clearing. The security force provided first aid to the child’s minor injury. After the area was secure, the security force conducted initial questioning at the scene before detaining three suspected insurgents.

-- In Nimroz province, Afghan and coalition forces detained six detainees during a joint security operation targeting a Taliban attack facilitator. Forces conducted the operation in search of the facilitator who moves munitions and IED materials within northern Nimroz for attacks against coalition forces and also facilitates the movement of materials to Taliban associates within Kandahar. Forces followed leads to a series of targeted buildings in Khash Rod district. The joint forces questioned the occupants of the location and conducted a search. The suspects were detained based on initial questioning. The security forces conducted the operation without firing their weapons.

In Dec. 25 operations:

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained eight suspects during three joint security operations targeting the Taliban network in Ghazni and Kandahar provinces. In Ghazni province, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a Taliban leader responsible for attacks on Afghan security forces in Gelan district, detaining two suspected insurgents during a security operation. The targeted Taliban leader receives early warning from fellow insurgents who watch Highway 1 and Afghan bases in order to conduct attacks on Afghan and coalition forces. He also focuses on IED and suicide bomber facilitation. Recent reporting indicates his group was making two suicide vehicle-borne IEDs to be used against coalition forces operating in the province.

The security force followed intelligence tips to the potential compound of the Taliban leader in Gelan district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully before the combined security force cleared and secured the building. After the area was secure, the security force conducted initial questioning at the scene before detaining two suspected insurgents.

In Kandahar, Afghan and coalition forces detained six detainees as they focused two operations on a Taliban attack facilitator. The security team conducted the operations in search of the facilitator who supplies, plans and reports attacks against coalition forces and has multiple affiliations with other insurgents. Forces followed leads to a series of targeted buildings in two areas of Zharay district. The joint forces searched the areas where, in one location, they discovered a 40-pound IED, 40 pounds of homemade explosives, 20 pressure plates used in the construction of IEDs, rockets and mortar rounds. Forces conducted a controlled detonation of the explosives at the site to ensure the safety of local residents. No women or children were injured or detained during these operations.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Haqqani network leader along with three suspected insurgents in a joint security operation in Khost province. The Haqqani leader operated in Sabari, Terayzai and Bak districts in Khost province. His group is responsible for recruiting suicide bombers to attack Afghan schools, district centers and coalition forces. He is also involved in the attempted kidnapping of Afghan army officers. Forces detained the facilitator at a targeted location in Sabari district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call the occupants out of the buildings peacefully before conducting a search. After the area was secure, the security force conducted initial questioning at the scene before detaining the network leader and three suspected insurgents. No women or children were injured or detained during this operation. The security forces conducted the operation without firing their weapons.

In Dec. 24 operations:

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban facilitator along with several suspected insurgents in a joint security operation in Logar province. The Taliban facilitator was involved in planning of attacks against the Afghan government and coalition forces in Kabul City. Forces detained the facilitator at a targeted location in Pul-e ‘Alam district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call the occupants out of the buildings peacefully before conducting a search. The targeted individual identified himself to authorities during questioning, at which time he was detained. The other suspected insurgents were detained after questioning as well. No women or children were injured or detained during this operation. The security forces conducted the operation without firing their weapons.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspects and killed two armed insurgents during two combined security operations targeting Haqqani and Taliban networks in Khost and Logar provinces.

In Khost province, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a Haqqani leader for the province, detaining two suspected insurgents and killing two armed insurgents during an operation in Sabari district. The targeted insurgent is responsible for coordinating indirect fire and IED attacks targeting coalition bases in the area. Recent reporting links him to an indirect fire attack against coalition forces operating in the province. Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound in the district to search for the leader. As the security force arrived at the targeted location, armed insurgents threatened the security force resulting in two armed insurgents being killed. The force continued to secure the targeted compound where Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully before the force cleared and secured the buildings. Afghan and coalition forces detained two suspects based on initial questioning at the scene. The force recovered multiple weapons to include a pistol, chest racks, AK-47 with ammunition, a machine gun with hundreds of rounds, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher with boosters and ammunition and a recoilless rifle with rounds.

In Logar province, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a Taliban leader responsible for orchestrating attacks against coalition forces in Baraki Barak district, detaining two suspected insurgents during a security operation. The targeted Taliban leader is responsible for orchestrating IED attacks and direct- and indirect-fire attacks against coalition forces in Baraki Barak district. He is also the acting Taliban leader for the district and is linked to several IED attacks. The security force followed intelligence tips to the potential compound of the Taliban leader. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully before the security force cleared and secured the building. After the area was secure, the force conducted initial questioning at the scene before detaining two suspected insurgents. No women or children were injured or detained during these operations.

-- ISAF confirmed that a senior Taliban leader was killed during a Dec. 13 airstrike in the Pasaband district of Ghor province. Shafiq, the targeted senior Taliban leader, was a facilitator of money and small arms who specialized in IED construction. He planned, coordinated and executed numerous IED and direct-fire attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. Multiple intelligence sources and tips from local citizens led ISAF to Shafiq’s location. Forces tracked him for several hours and as he was leaving a known insurgent location, he was engaged with a precision air strike while travelling on his motorcycle with another insurgent. Initial reports indicate there were no civilians harmed during the operation.

-- A combined Afghan-ISAF patrol killed two men during an operation in Kabul. After receiving a credible threat to attack the U.S. Embassy, ISAF coordinated with Afghan security forces to move on an area of interest. The force moved to the target area near an office building in downtown Kabul. Intelligence reports indicated there were two vehicles parked there that were thought to be loaded with explosives. The forces were instructed to approach the target area with caution and to announce their identities. A cordon was in the process of being established while other elements of the force moved to search the area on foot. As they moved towards the target area, they announced themselves and immediately received small-arms fire from the target area. The force returned fire, killing two of the shooters. A third armed person was seen running into the building nearby. The force used a non-lethal device to disorient any armed personnel inside. They cleared the building and secured 15 people, including two people who had been wounded. A medic assigned to the group treated the injured. The wounded were offered treatment at an ISAF facility but instead opted to be taken by Afghan security forces to a local hospital. As the force reached the roof, one man who had been among the initial shooters surrendered. A large number of weapons, including the small arms used by the men who fired on the patrol, were found during the operation. A high-ranking Afghan officer arrived and he personally vouched for those detained in the operation and they were subsequently released.

 

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