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Officials Confirm Capture of Insurgent Leader

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2010 – A senior insurgent leader believed to be responsible for coordinating the movement of fighters across three provinces in Afghanistan was captured by Afghan-led security forces, military officials reported today.

The International Security Assistance Force confirmed the capture of a Haqqani network facilitator linked to the movement of fighters throughout Khost, Paktiya and Paktika provinces. The facilitator was captured Aug. 29 during an Afghan-led security force operation in Khost province.

Afghan and coalition forces targeted a remote series of compounds north of Ziarat-e Bad in Khost district to search for the facilitator. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then secured the area. After questioning all the residents at the scene, the security force detained the facilitator and four of his associates.

The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

"The Haqqani network's violent and immoral tactics will be stopped," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, the director of ISAF’s Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center. "Afghan and coalition forces will continue targeting and dismantling this terrorist organization."

In Aug. 30 news:

-- Afghan security forces and U.S. soldiers from Task Force Bastogne conducted a major air assault in the village of Omar, in the Monogai district of Kunar province. Since the operation began, Afghan and coalition forces have killed 19 insurgents and captured five others. Two of the detained insurgents, who were wounded in the operation, were treated and released into Afghan police custody along with one insurgent who was not wounded. Two other insurgents are receiving medical care at coalition bases. During the assault, the joint force discovered numerous insurgent fighting positions, weapons caches, and stockpiles of ammunition within the village. Local villagers in the area cooperated fully with the Afghan-led forces.

"This operation shows the true strength of the Afghan National Security Forces," said Lt. Col. Joseph A. Ryan, commander, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, that’s part of TF Bastogne.

-- Coalition forces conducted a precision air strike in Kandahar province, targeting a Taliban commander responsible for directing improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan civilians, as well as Afghan and coalition forces. The commander also coordinates the movement of supplies and fighters throughout the province. Intelligence tracked three Taliban insurgents to an open, unpopulated field in Zharay district. After careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition aircraft engaged the insurgents. Officials believe the air strike killed two of the insurgents and wounded the other.

-- A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani network subcommander in charge of an insurgent cell responsible for the facilitation of weapons and supplies for area fighters, along with some of his associates in Khost province. He also is believed to have coordinated and conducted IED attacks. Acting on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a compound south of the village of Wardagano Kelay in Sabari district. Afghan soldiers used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit the buildings and then secured the area. After initial questioning on the scene, the assault force identified and detained the subcommander and additional insurgents. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several insurgents in Kandahar province, including a Taliban commander who coordinated weapons movements and IED and direct-fire attacks on Afghan civilians, as well as Afghan and coalition forces. The security force targeted a compound in the village of Jelawur in Arghandab district. Afghan soldiers used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then secured the area. After initial questioning on the scene, the assault force detained the commander and three of his associates for further questioning. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained two insurgents in Kunduz province in their pursuit of an al-Qaida-affiliated extremist linked to several insurgent groups in the area, including the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Taliban. The extremist was recently forced to leave his safe haven in Pakistan and moved to Takhar province with several al-Qaida members. The assault force targeted a series of compounds in Kunduz City in pursuit of the al-Qaida operative. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit each of the compounds peacefully and then secured the areas. After questioning residents at the scene, the security force detained two insurgents. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several insurgents in Ghazni province, including a Taliban subcommander who led an IED attack cell. The commander recently returned from Pakistan where he was training new recruits how to make IEDs. The security force targeted a series of compounds in the village of Nuri Kala in Andar district. Afghan soldiers used a loudspeaker to call for the commander and the rest of the occupants to exit the buildings peacefully. After an extensive search, the commander was found hiding in an oven, breathing through a tube. After initial questioning on the scene, the assault force identified and detained the subcommander along with several of his associates for further questioning. The security force also found automatic weapons, pistols and grenades along with IED components. The security force did not fire weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

-- A joint Afghan and ISAF patrol came under small-arms fire from multiple firing points, one of which was a mosque, in the Nad 'Ali district of Helmand province. Acting in self-defense, Afghan and coalition forces returned fire at the insurgents, causing them to flee the mosque. The combined force made all efforts to avoid damaging the mosque. Following the incident, the force determined a window frame in the mosque received minor damage. Afghan and coalition forces met with the mosque owner, who will be compensated by security forces for the minor damage to the window frame. The mosque owner told Afghan and coalition forces that he understood they had no other option but to return fire in self defense. The owner also said he will tell all others who use the mosque the truth of the incident at the next prayer session. During the assessment of the damage, the Afghan and security patrol continued to receive fire from several firing points. The security force plans to return to the area to conduct a local shura, or meeting, regarding the incident.

-- A district subgovernor was killed and four of his bodyguards were wounded when a vehicle-borne IED detonated outside of the governor's palace in the Jalalabad district of Nangarhar province. Sayeed Mohamed Paliwan, the subgovernor of La'l Por district, was killed as a result of the blast, according to official reports. "Our thoughts and concerns are with the families of the deceased and wounded during this difficult time," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Garza, deputy chief of staff for joint operations, Headquarters ISAF Joint Command. "This killing of a government official is senseless." Afghan National Police and ISAF troops immediately responded to the scene. Initial reports indicate the IED was attached to the bottom of the subgovernor's vehicle.

"This is a flagrant act, particularly in the context of religion and in the context of the normal codes of conduct," Garza said. "I can assure the enemies of Afghanistan that we will pursue those responsible and we will continue to set the conditions to protect the Afghan people and provide a secure environment for sustainable [government of Afghanistan]-led peace."

 

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