Afghan, Coalition Forces Kill Taliban Leaders, Detain Suspect
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2009 Afghan and coalition forces killed two Taliban leaders and detained a suspected weapons facilitator in operations yesterday, military officials reported.
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces killed a Taliban commander during an early morning search of a suspected insurgent compound near the village of Khak-e-Safid in Farah province.
When combined forces entered the compound, the militant had an AK-47 rifle aimed at them. Coalition forces fired on the subject in self-defense, killing him. The forces positively identified the militant as a known senior Taliban commander and weapons facilitator within Farah province.
Elsewhere, coalition forces killed the Taliban leader of Badghis province and eight of his associates with a precision air strike near Darya-ye-Morghab in Badghis province.
Coalition forces learned through intelligence sources that Mullah Dastighir and a group of associates were located in Darya-ye-Morghab, a village near the Turkmenistan border. Once the exact location of the militants was confirmed, forces engaged the target compound with a precision air strike, destroying a building and killing the militants inside. Surrounding structures remained intact, sustaining minimal external damage.
Dastighir was responsible for an increase in violence in Badghis over recent months, including attacks against Afghan National Security Forces and International Security Assistance Forces, officials said. In November, Dastighir was responsible for an attack on an Afghan National Army convoy that killed 13 soldiers.
In another operation, Afghan National Police and coalition forces detained a suspected improvised explosive device facilitator while conducting a search of a compound in the Gereshk district of Helmand province.
The detained individual is suspected of distributing IED-making materials to insurgent commanders throughout the Gereshk district and surrounding areas. During the search, the combined force discovered a bag of IED-making materials.
(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)