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Forces Pressure Insurgents in Eastern Afghanistan

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2011 – Insurgent networks have been severely disrupted over the past two months by Afghan and coalition forces’ operations in the border areas of eastern Afghanistan, military officials said.

Regional Command East operations over the last 60 days have focused on the Afghanistan border provinces of Khost, Paktiya, Nuristan, and Paktika, and Wardak to the west of Kabul, International Security Assistance Force officials said in a news release issued today.

These operations, ISAF officials said, have disrupted insurgent capabilities and shut down enemy safe havens on the Afghan side of the border.

Since mid-May, officials said, combined forces have killed more than 450 enemy fighters and detained close to 300 in operations in the east.

“While the Taliban have been substituting propaganda efforts for genuine tactical victories, we have been working with our Afghan security force partners to consistently kill or capture Taliban and Haqqani leaders and seize their munitions,” said Col. Dan Hurlbut, operations officer for RC-East. “We’ll take tangible effects over false perceptions any day.”

A recent operation in Afghanistan’s Laghman province saw enemy resistance evaporate. Insurgents walked away from former strongholds.

“This is a disorganized and demoralized enemy who tries to exploit the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” said British Maj. Matthew Palmer, deputy chief of operations for RC-East. “During operations along the Pakistan border, insurgents continue to flee and refuse to directly engage ANSF and coalition forces.”

In Ghazni province, security forces captured bomb-making materials and 20 heavy and light machine guns in one raid. In Nangarhar, a local villager turned in more than 80 mines and rockets while Afghan security officials arrested two people attempting to smuggle hundreds of pounds of explosives hidden in cement containers.

Also, an Afghan-led commando operation in the Barg-e Matal district in Nuristan province resulted in the deaths of dozens of insurgents.

And in late July, an Afghan-led force killed more than 50 insurgents during an operation against a staging area for foreign fighters entering Afghanistan from Pakistan in the Sar Rowzah district of Paktika province. The Haqqani network is accused of helping insurgent fighters enter Afghanistan from Pakistan.

“Despite the Haqqani claims, we have no credible intelligence indicating that the Haqqani network has eliminated their operating safe havens in Pakistan,” said Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. “They continue to plan and execute operations from across the border.

Coalition forces will continue to work with Afghan security forces here in Afghanistan,” Jacobson added, “and our Pakistani allies, to apply pressure to both sides of the border in our effort to eliminate this terrorist threat.”

In August, Afghan and coalition forces captured or killed numerous Haqqani insurgents along the Pakistani border in Paktiya and Khost provinces-- to include Haqqani's second-in-command for Afghanistan’s Paktiya province.

In other Afghanistan news today, a combined Afghan and coalition security force searching for a Taliban leader killed two insurgents, detained several suspects, and confiscated multiple weapons in the Nurgal district of Kunar province. The leader plans attacks against Afghan forces in the Nurgal and Khas Kunar districts. The security force confiscated an 82mm recoilless rifle, three 82mm mortars, 15 rocket-propelled grenades, 12 rocket-propelled grenade motors, roadside and pressure plate bomb-making materials ammunition, Afghan police uniforms, handcuffs and batons, and U.S. military uniforms.

In Afghanistan operations yesterday:

-- A combined force captured a Taliban leader and detained several suspects in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. The insurgent leader led a group of fighters and provided reports to senior Taliban members.

-- A combined force detained one suspected Taliban insurgent in the Panjawa’i district of Kandahar province.

-- In the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, a combined force detained several suspects during a security operation in search of a Taliban leader.

-- A combined force killed three insurgents and seized enemy weapons and ammunition in the Charkh district of Logar province.

-- A combined force killed five insurgents in the Zurmat district of Paktiya province.

-- A combined force killed four insurgents and detained ten suspects in the Sayyidabad district of Wardak province. This year, more than 40 security operations have been conducted in Sayyidabad, killing of 39 insurgents, and capturing 15 leaders. More than 90 suspects have been detained.

-- A combined force captured a Taliban leader in the Archi district of Kunduz province. The leader conducted roadside-bomb attacks against Afghan forces in the region.

-- A combined force detained several suspected insurgents during a search for a Taliban leader in the Faizabad district of Jowzjan province. The leader supplied weapons and roadside bomb components, assisted suicide bombers, set up bomb factories, and coordinated ambushes targeting Afghan forces. The security force also confiscated a roadside bomb and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with multiple rockets.

-- In the Kandahar district of Kandahar province, a combined force seized a cache containing two assault rifles, four pistols, three hand grenades, several 7.62mm and 9mm rounds and improvised explosive device-making materials.

-- In the Maiwand district of Kandahar province, a combined force seized a cache containing 101 pounds of opium. Another combined force detained several suspects during a separate operation in the same district.

-- A combined force seized a cache containing four grenades, one rocket, three rocket engines and ammunition in the Wali Mohammad-e Shahid district of Ghazni province.

-- A Haqqani network leader was captured by a combined force in the Sabari district of Khost province. The leader directed a network of fighters, and was involved in the planning of roadside bomb attacks throughout the region. The force also detained one suspect.

-- A combined force killed an enemy fighter and detained several suspects in the Shwak district of Paktiya province.

-- In the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, a coalition force discovered a cache containing 20 anti-personnel mines, 352 pounds of drugs, 185 yards of detonation cord and 11 pounds of explosives.

In Sept. 24 Afghanistan operations:

-- A combined patrol killed one insurgent, detained one suspect, and seized a cache containing 5,290 pounds of hashish in the Kajran district of Daykundi province.

-- A combined patrol killed several insurgents, detained numerous suspects, and seized a cache containing 1,980 pounds of opium and some small arms and ammunition in the Kajaki district of Helmand province.

-- A combined force killed several insurgents and seized a cache containing one 66-pound IED, one mortar, two 122mm rockets, four grenades, 11 pounds of explosives, 14 IED pressure plates, and small arms and ammunition in Helmand province’s Nahr-e Saraj district.

-- A combined patrol detained numerous suspects in the Ghazni district of Ghazni province.

-- Combined forces killed eight insurgents during operations in Regional Command East.

-- A combined force killed six insurgents, including a Taliban leader, detained three suspects, and seized a machine gun, assault rifles and grenades in the Chahar Bolak district of Balkh province.

In Sept. 23 Afghanistan operations:

-- In the Deh-e Salah district of Baghlan province, a combined force seized a cache containing one recoilless rifle, one 82mm round, 84 anti-personnel mines, 46 anti-tank mines, six rockets and 110 fuses.

-- A combined force confiscated 7,128 pounds of hashish in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province.

-- A combined force detained two suspects in the Zurmat district of Paktiya province.

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