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Attack May Have Included Insurgent Fire, Officials Say

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force and ISAF Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2012 – A Sept. 29 exchange of gunfire in Afghanistan’s Wardak province that left an International Security Assistance Force service member and an ISAF-contracted civilian employee dead may have involved insurgent fire, ISAF officials reported yesterday.

Official said three Afghan soldiers reportedly also were killed in the incident, which initially was reported to be a suspected insider attack.

In a written statement, ISAF officials said the incident occurred while an ISAF unit was manning a temporary checkpoint in an area near an Afghan army unit. According to ISAF and Afghan army reporting, gunfire occurred after a short conversation took place between Afghan and ISAF personnel, and an ISAF soldier and his civilian colleague were killed. In an ensuing exchange of fire, three Afghan army personnel are reported to have died, officials added.

“We deeply regret the loss of life in this tragic incident,” officials said in the statement, “Our deepest sympathies are with the families of our personnel who were killed.”

Afghan National Army and ISAF personnel are investigating the incident jointly.

In operations around Afghanistan today:

-- A combined Afghan and coalition security force in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province detained two suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban operative believed to be responsible for planning and executing ambush attacks on Afghan and coalition forces and directing insurgents for senior Taliban leaders in the district.

-- In Khost province’s Sabari district, an Afghan-led security force supported by coalition troops detained several suspected insurgents during a search for a Haqqani network leader believed to maintain a large cache of weapons and to be responsible for purchasing supplies for future attacks.

-- A combined security force in the Gelan district of Ghazni province detained several suspected insurgents during an operation to arrest a Taliban leader suspected of planning attacks using improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire against Afghan and coalition forces.

-- In Logar province’s Pul-e Alam district, Logar province, a combined security force detained several suspected insurgents during a search for a Haqqani network leader suspected of acquiring supplies to plan and execute suicide attacks against Afghan and coalition forces while directly reporting to senior Haqqani leadership.

In operations yesterday:

-- Afghan and coalition forces killed the No. 1 Taliban leader and another insurgent with a precision airstrike in Nangarhar province’s Sherzad district. Nawab, also known as Nil, equipped and coordinated fighters in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He facilitated the movement of weapons and explosives, and was directly involved in an Aug. 21 attack on a government official. A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and no civilian property was damaged during the operation.

-- Afghan special police and coalition forces recovered more than 5,800 pounds of white opium and heroin and detained several insurgents during a vehicle interdiction operation in the Chakhansur district of Nimroz province. The narcotics are estimated to be worth about $800,000, and the detained insurgents are believed to be involved in narcotics trafficking and weapons facilitation for the Taliban.

-- A combined security force in the Tsamkani district of Paktia province arrested a Haqqani network IED expert suspected of procuring IED-building materials, coordinating the shipment of those materials throughout the region, and importing anti-aircraft weapons. In addition to directing ambush attacks against Afghan National Police, he is believed to have been directly responsible for building numerous remote-controlled IEDs, planning their use, and facilitating their delivery. The security force also detained seven other suspected insurgents and seized firearms in the operation.

In Sept. 29 operations:

-- A combined force in the Sar-e Pul district of Sar-e Pul province arrested a Taliban leader and five other suspected insurgents. The detained leader is believed to have supported and directed IED attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He reportedly reported directly to senior Taliban leaders while exercising command and control to coordinate insurgent attacks, and is suspected of purchasing and distributing supplies for future attacks.

-- In Logar province’s Pul-e Alam district, a combined force arrested of a Taliban attack leader suspected of having played a key role in the procurement, planning and execution of IED attacks against coalition and Afghan security forces. The security force also detained two other suspected insurgents.

In Sept. 28 operations:

-- A precision airstrike in the Darah-ye Pech district of Kunar province killed Asad, an al-Qaida associated Taliban leader, and two other suspected insurgents. Asad -- also affiliated with the Tehrik-Nefaz-i-Shariat-Muhammadi, a Pakistani militant group and known supporter of the Afghan Taliban -- engaged in numerous attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and was believed to be planning additional strikes. A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and no civilian property was damaged in the airstrike.

-- A combined force in the Sharan district of Paktika province arrested a Haqqani network IED attack leader suspected of having a direct role in the construction and distribution of IEDs and directing their use throughout the region. He was also known to seek additional weapons, including ammunition and mortars. At the time of his arrest, he was believed to have been planning an attack against high-level Afghan government officials. The security force also detained two additional suspected insurgents and seized firearms in the operation.

In other news, Taliban insurgents shot an Afghan civilian in the Muqor district of Ghazni province Sept. 28 while Afghan and coalition special operations forces were conducting a security meeting. The man was injured by machine-gun fire after the Taliban attacked the combined force at the meeting. Afghan and coalition troops treated and stabilized the man and fought off the attack. Local villagers then took the wounded man to a hospital in Ghazni City.

 

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