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Officials in Afghanistan Detail Recent Operations

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2010 – International Security Assistance Force Joint Command officials have provided details of numerous recent operations in Afghanistan.

In Farah province:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected insurgents yesterday in an operation launched after an insurgent bomb attack that injured five civilians, three of them children, the day before. About 45 pounds of opium products and a number of bomb components were found during the operation.

In Helmand province:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained more than 10 suspected insurgents yesterday while pursuing the Taliban shadow governor of the province’s Musa Qalah district. The shadow governor facilitates and leads attacks and handles funding for Taliban operations in his area. The security force discovered multiple weapons, drugs, Taliban paraphernalia and Pakistani money at the scene. As the security force was leaving the target area, coalition aircraft received small-arms fire from the ground. The aircraft returned fire, ensuring the aircraft and occupants left the area safely. The ground force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the operation.

-- Multiple intelligence sources and tips from local residents led to a combined Afghan and coalition operation that resulted in the detention of several insurgents in the central part of the province yesterday. The target of the operation was a Taliban leader who was directly involved with planning, coordinating and conducting attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and is known to prepare bombs for insurgent groups in the surrounding area. He also provides suicide bombers and vests for other local Taliban commanders. Four insurgents were killed during the operation when they attempted to engage Afghan and coalition forces. The combined force protected 12 women and 33 children and arrested several suspects found hiding among them.

-- Afghan commandos, assisted by members of two Marine Corps special operations teams, found and destroyed a large drug and weapons cache in the Sangin district Sept. 2. Coalition forces were attempting to interact with the local populace when they received sporadic small-arms and machine-gun fire near the village of Banuzai. While seeking cover, troops discovered an operational drug processing lab. Upon suppression of the insurgent force and a detailed search of the facility, Afghan forces recovered 90 pounds of opium, two assault rifles with 200 rounds of ammunition, two bolt-action rifles, a machine gun with 200 rounds and five grenades.

-- Several Afghan civilians fought back against insurgents who attacked worshipers in a mosque near Marja on Aug. 31, killing two and wounding another. Following the attack, Marja elders rallied citizens to pursue the insurgents. During the pursuit, the elders informed Afghan National Civil Order Police forces of the incident, and the commander quickly launched his forces. The citizen and ANCOP force located the insurgents and engaged them with small-arms fire as a small ISAF unit established perimeter security. The ANCOP then swept the area and detained four of the insurgents suspected of conducting the mosque attack.

In Kandahar province:

-- Several suspected insurgents were detained yesterday during an Afghan-led operation in pursuit of the Taliban district commander for Dand. The commander, who profits from weapons trafficking and coordinates attacks, presides over an illegal shadow court that exercises capital punishment. Acting on intelligence tips, Afghan and coalition forces went to a compound in the Panjwai district to search for the commander and detained the suspected insurgents after interviewing the residents. Coalition aircraft received heavy fire from multiple insurgent locations on the ground throughout the operation. Coalition aircraft responded with direct fire and by conducting precision air strikes to eliminate the enemy threat.

-- Afghan National Civil Order Police partnered with soldiers from Special Operations Task Force South to find three roadside bombs Sept. 1 in the Panjwai district.

-- ISAF officials confirmed the Sept. 3 capture of a Taliban weapons facilitator.

-- Afghan commandos with the 3rd Commando Kandak, advised and assisted by coalition forces, found and destroyed multiple bomb-making materials in a remote region of the Shah Wali Kot district, Kandahar province Sept. 2.

-- ISAF officials confirmed the Sept. 2 capture by a combined Afghan-coalition force of Nawah-ye Barakzai, an acting Taliban district commander who took the position after Afghan and coalition forces captured several members of his network since May. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban commander Sept. 3. He coordinated and participated in attacks in Kandahar City and the Arghandab district. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

In Khost province:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents yesterday in the Sabari district in their continued pursuit of a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator responsible for roadside-bomb components and weapons used in indirect-fire attacks. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

-- ISAF officials confirmed the capture during a Sept. 2 combined operation of a Haqqani subcommander responsible for coordinating bombing attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces, The security force also detained three of his associates. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani subcommander and two associates in the Serkay in Bak district Sept. 4. The subcommander leads a cell conducting bombing and indirect-fire attacks against Afghan civilians, government offices and Afghan and coalition forces. The assault force discovered and destroyed several firearms, multiple grenades, and a cache of homemade explosives and ammunition at the scene. They did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected insurgents in the Sabari district Sept. 3 in their pursuit of a Haqqani facilitator for bomb components and weapons. The security force also discovered multiple grenades and weapons at the scene. They did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

In Nangahar province:

-- Based on intelligence tips, an Afghan and coalition force killed a Taliban military commander for the Khugyani district and another insurgent during an operation over the night of Sept. 5. The commander, Hazrat Muhammad, was killed during the operation. As the combined force approached the targeted compound, two armed individuals moved to a nearby tree line. The assault force attempted to interdict them, but the two insurgents engaged the force, which returned fire, killing Hazrat Muhammad and another insurgent. During an inspection of the area, the assault force found an automatic weapon, multiple magazines of ammunition and a pistol with the insurgents. The security force detained three additional suspected insurgents for further questioning and protected women and children throughout the search.

In Paktia province:

-- In an intelligence-based Sept. 4 operation in the Lewan in Gardez district, an Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban commander linked to device bombing attack that killed four U.S. soldiers on Highway 1 last week and a facilitator who also was involved in bombing attacks. Two of their associates also were detained. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator for a bombing cell operating in Gardez district in an intelligence-based Sept. 3 operation. The security force found a pistol and a grenade at the scene. They did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

In Paktika province:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force in the Sharana district acting on intelligence reports detained two suspected insurgents Sept. 5, including a Taliban bombing operative who also facilitates and conducts machine-gun and small-arms attacks against coalition convoys. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force in the Yahya Khel district detained several suspected insurgents while in pursuit of a Taliban subcommander who conducts attacks against Afghan government officials and Afghan and coalition forces. He is also involved in facilitating bombs and weapons. An insurgent armed with an assault rifle and grenades was killed after he threatened the force as it approached the first targeted compound. Multiple insurgents who ran from the compound also were killed when they threatened the force. A suspected insurgent was detained at a second compound. The assault force protected women and children throughout the search.

In Takhar province:

-- ISAF officials confirmed that Attallah, the Taliban commander for the Darquad district, was killed during a Sept. 3 Afghan and coalition force operation. Attallah maintained contact with senior Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leaders in Pakistan and in Afghanistan’s Takhar, Kunduz and Baghlan provinces. He had stepped in as the deputy shadow governor for Takhar province after the former deputy, Muhammad Amin, was killed in a precision air strike the day before. The operation also resulted in the capture of the Taliban military commissioner for six Takhar districts.

In Uruzgan province:

-- A combined Afghan and coalition force detained 13 Taliban insurgents yesterday. After arrival at a suspected Taliban insurgent compound, the force was met with small-arms fire by a single insurgent. Afghan and coalition forces returned fire, killing the attacker. Upon entering the compound, they detained nine suspected insurgents. The combined force also tracked four suspected insurgents leaving the targeted compound just prior to their arrival and followed them to a nearby compound, where they were detained.

In Wardak province

-- In a Sept. 5 operation, an Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected Taliban operatives. Although the target of the operation, a known explosives expert and bomb maker, was not at the site, the force did detain several suspected insurgents, including one of the target's top lieutenants. When the combined force arrived at the objective site, they saw people running from the compound and followed them into a nearby orchard, where successive fire fights ensued over an extended period of time. The combined force’s leaders chose not to call in air support, as civilians were in the area. As the fire fights subsided, the combined force moved back to the original targeted compound, made several searches and detained three suspected insurgents. The force also found 50 pounds of homemade explosives, two rocket fuses and 1,000 meters of copper command wire for homemade bombs.

In Zabul province:

-- ISAF officials today confirmed the capture of a Taliban subcommander who facilitated and coordinated roadside-bomb attacks on Highway 1. He was captured during a Sept. 2 combined operation. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and protected women and children throughout the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents Sept. 5 while in pursuit of an insurgent cell leader operating in the Qalat district. The targeted individual facilitates the movement of weapons and supplies and directs roadside-bomb attacks on Highway 1, a major route used by civilians. Afghan and coalition forces did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.

In other news from Afghanistan, a team composed of representatives from the Afghan interior and defense ministries and ISAF officials determined that ISAF strikes inadvertently caused civilian casualties ISAF strikes during a Sept. 1 operation in Helmand province’s Musa Qalah district.

"It is regrettable that insurgents continue to place civilians in harm's way," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Timothy M. Zadalis, ISAF Joint Command director of plans and projects and the team lead. "We regret the loss of life and injuries to our civilian partners. Our first objective is to protect the people of Afghanistan, and in this case we failed."

During a dismounted patrol, partnered Afghan and coalition forces came under heavy small-arms and machine-gun fire. The patrol was pinned down and unable to withdraw. The insurgent firing position was positively identified, and additional fire support was requested.

The insurgents were suppressed, and following the engagement, overhead aircraft observed two or three wounded individuals being removed by insurgents to a nearby compound. The assessment team confirmed an immediate site assessment by the partnered force that revealed civilians were in the compound at the time of the insurgent attack.

Meanwhile, insurgents continue to inflict civilian casualties and target government officials.

The governor of Baghlan province’s Nahrin district and his driver reportedly were killed by unknown gunmen yesterday.

In Kunar province’s Darah-ye Pech district yesterday, four Afghan government workers reportedly were kidnapped by about 15 suspected insurgents.

Also yesterday, three Afghan children were killed and five more were wounded by insurgents in an attack on a coalition combat outpost in the Yahya Khel district of Paktika province.

Coalition forces took the eight wounded children by air to coalition medical facilities for treatment. Three of the children subsequently died.

On Sept. 5, two children were brought to Forward Operating Base Farah for treatment after a roadside bomb detonated in a bazaar in Farah province’s Bala Boluk district. Several other people were wounded in the explosion, which originated from homemade explosives placed under an ice stand. The children, ages 8 and 12, were treated at the base, and the other wounded people were treated at a local hospital.

Two Afghan civilians were killed and another was wounded in a vehicle-borne bomb attack on an Afghan police station in the Khash Rod district of Nimroz province Sept. 5. The wounded civilian was transported to a nearby ISAF medical facility for treatment.

In the Darah-ye Pech district of Kunar province Sept. 5, about 13 Afghan civilians were wounded after insurgents attacked a coalition force convoy. Coalition force medics treated the wounded Afghans at a nearby ISAF medical facility, and they are now receiving follow-on care at a local Afghan hospital.

On Sept. 4, several people were killed when a vehicle-borne bomb detonated in Kunduz province.

Also on Sept. 4, two Afghan civilians were wounded by a roadside bomb detonation in the Sharan district of Paktika province. The bomb exploded in front of an ISAF provincial reconstruction team convoy. A medic assessed the civilians’ injuries, and they were taken to a local hospital in a private vehicle.

 

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