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Afghanistan Airstrike Kills 4 Insurgents

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2010 – An air weapons team engaged insurgents who’d fired on Afghan and coalition forces conducting a patrol in eastern Afghanistan today, military officials reported.

The combined patrol came under effective small-arms fire from about eight insurgents in the Andar district of Ghazni province. After gaining positive identification on the insurgent position, an air weapons team engaged the insurgent firing position. After the engagement ended, the combined force called for a medical evacuation for wounded insurgents and reported that approximately four insurgents had been killed.

The wounded were evacuated to an International Security Assistance Force medical facility for treatment. ISAF is aware of allegations in the media of civilian casualties associated with this operation. ISAF is receiving reports from this operation and will provide updates as they become available.

In other news and operations today:

-- Afghan and coalition security forces engaged several insurgents during a combined operation in Ghazni province. The combined force came under fire from a group of armed insurgents, who left the area when the combined force returned fire. As the force moved to the suspected insurgent location, they discovered a cave and while searching the cave they were engaged by insurgents. The patrol returned fire, killing two insurgents. Initial reports indicate no civilians were involved in the operation.

In yesterday’s Afghanistan news and operations:

-- An insurgent suicide bomber attacked and killed the Deputy Governor of Ghazni province, Mohammad Kazim Allahyar, his two sons and three of his nephews. Deputy Governor Allahyar had served as deputy provincial governor for more than seven years. “We join President Karzai in condemning this attack against Deputy Governor Allahyar and his family,” said Rear Admiral Greg Smith, director of communication, International Security Assistance Force. “Deputy Governor Allahyar was a dedicated public servant who was working to improve the lives of the people in Ghazni. As both President Karzai and Bizmullah Khan, Minister of the Interior, commented yesterday, these attacks by insurgents on Afghan officials and innocent civilians are un-Islamic and inhumane. We offer our sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of Deputy Governor Allahyar and to the people of Ghazni,” said Admiral Smith. “We remain resolute and will stand by our Afghan partners to bring about peace and security.” Afghan authorities are working to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice. There were no ISAF servicemembers involved in the incident.

-- A group of Afghan children found an unexploded rocket and took it to an International Security Assistance Force operating base in western Afghanistan. The children turned the ordnance, a 107 mm rocket, over to troops at Forward Operaing Base Leimbach in Farah province for disposal. An ISAF explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the rocket. "While we are happy to have safely destroyed this weapon, we encourage people who find any device like this to notify an ISAF servicemember and not attempt to pick it up," said Italian Army Col. Franco Federici, Italian Task Force commander. "Rockets and other weapons are very dangerous and we will remove them safely."

-- Afghan and coalition security forces captured a Taliban leader heavily involved in improvised explosive device attacks, in Paktiya province. The individual is known to conduct pressure plate, remote-controlled and command-wire IED attacks, endangering the local population. He was also involved in attacks on reconstruction operations and the assassinations of Afghan government officials. "This was a key capture for Afghan and coalition forces as well as Afghan civilians living in Paktiya province," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "This leader haunted the Afghan people with his indiscriminate and violent activities. We're happy to remove him from the battlefield." Intelligence reports led the security force to a remote compound in Gardez district to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the leader along with one of his associates. The security force also discovered an 82mm artillery round and ammunition at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- The International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a Sept. 25 precision air strike in Kunar province killed Abdallah Umar al-Qurayshi, an al-Qaida senior commander who coordinated the attacks of a group of Arab fighters in Kunar and Nuristan provinces. The al-Qaida facilitators and extremists he worked with throughout the Middle East directly threaten the safety and security of Afghan civilians. He routinely facilitated the travel of foreign fighters, including Arabs, into the region. Abu Atta al Kuwaiti, an al-Qaida explosives expert, and several Arabic foreign fighters also were killed in the strike. ISAF is working to confirm the exact identities of other high-level insurgent commanders, who were meeting when the strike was conducted. "The death of Abdallah Umar al-Qurayshi is a significant victory for the people of Afghanistan," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "We deliberately targeted a major threat to Afghanistan, which will significantly degrade the al-Qaida activities throughout the region. We will relentlessly target the remaining foreign fighters, al-Qaida, and senior Taliban leadership still operating in Afghanistan and those who harbor them."

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained two insurgents in Kandahar province including a Taliban leader who conducted improvised explosive device attacks in Kandahar City. The leader also facilitated the movement of IED material throughout the city. Based on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a compound in Kandahar City to search for the targeted individual. During the clearance, one individual threatened the security force with an AK-47. The security force engaged the threatening individual, killing him. After the area was secure, the security force conducted initial questioning at the scene, identifying and detaining the leader and one of his associates. The assault force protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several suspected insurgents in Helmand province while in pursuit of a Nawa-ye Barakzai Taliban Shura member and Taliban leader with influence throughout the Nawa and Lashkar Gah districts. Afghan and coalition security forces have degraded the Nawah Taliban network through recent operations resulting in the capture of several high-level commanders within the network. Intelligence reports led the security force to a remote compound in Nawa-ye Barakzai district to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained four suspected insurgents. The security force also found improvised explosive device material and Taliban propaganda at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several insurgents in Khost province, including a Haqqani Network leader responsible for attacks against coalition forces. The leader was detained by coalition forces previously and spent a year in custody before being released in April 2009, when he resumed his illegal activities. Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound east of Guldar in Bak district to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the leader along with two of his associates. The security force also discovered multiple automatic weapons and rifles, a machine gun, magazines and military uniforms at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several insurgents in Kandahar province while in pursuit of a Taliban senior leader operating in the Kandahar City and Panjwa'i districts. The target leads small groups of fighters in their attacks against coalition forces. Intelligence reports led the security force to a remote compound southwest of Kandahar City to search for the leader. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained several insurgents. The security force also discovered improvised explosive device making material including 70 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer, often used to make explosives and copper wire at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children during the search.

In Sept. 27 Afghanistan operations:

-- Acting on multiple intelligence reports and tips from concerned citizens, Afghan and coalition security forces detained a wanted insurgent during a combined operation in the village of Mullah Hadzrat in Logar province. The captured insurgent commander was an expert in the manufacturing and use of improvised explosive devices. He was directly responsible for the planning and execution of numerous IED attacks against Afghan forces and ISAF troops. He was also an expert in the use of remote-control technologies to initiate IEDs. Upon securing the compound, the force called-out the inhabitants multiple times in order to allow them to peacefully exit the building. There was no response. The combined force then entered the compound and without incident detained the insurgent commander and several suspected insurgents. The detainees were taken for processing and further questioning.

 

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