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Afghan, Coalition Troops Capture Insurgent Leader

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2010 – Afghan and coalition forces detained an insurgent leader during a combined operation in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province today, military officials reported.

Multiple intelligence sources and tips from local civilians led Afghan security forces and International Security Assistance Force troops to detain an insurgent leader who’d commanded a group that was responsible for the manufacture and emplacement of improvised explosive devices in the Mirabad area. Another man was arrested during the operation. The detainees are being held at an ISAF base for processing and further questioning.

In other Afghanistan news today:

-- An ISAF Joint Command combined incident assessment team has determined that four Afghan civilians were killed and three were wounded yesterday during an ISAF operation in the Andar district of Ghazni province. The tragic incident occurred after combined Afghan and coalition forces came under effective small-arms fire from approximately eight insurgents. An air weapons team fired in an attempt to protect the Afghan-coalition troops from the insurgent attack, but instead accidentally struck a group of unarmed civilians, killing four and injuring three others. The wounded were evacuated to an ISAF medical facility for treatment and ISAF forces met with village elders to express their regret for what happened. "We deeply regret that our operation resulted in civilian loss of life and we express our sincerest condolences to the families," said Navy Rear Admiral Greg Smith, ISAF’s director of communication. "We will provide solatia to the families of the civilians killed during the engagement." ISAF is conducting a formal investigation of this incident.

-- Afghan security forces and ISAF troops captured a Taliban leader during a combined operation in Kabul by working off intelligence and tips from local civilians. The detainee is a Taliban commander active in Wardak province who was planning an attack on the Presidential Palace in Kabul. He also has planned and participated in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

-- The ISAF observed what it believed was a group of insurgents attempting to fire mortars at a coalition base in the border area of Dand Patan district, Paktiya province. An ISAF air weapons team was called to provide fire support and engaged the suspected insurgents' firing position, located inside Afghanistan along the border area. ISAF aircraft did enter into Pakistani airspace briefly as they engaged this initial target. After the initial strike, the aircraft received what the crews assessed as effective small-arms fire from individuals just across the border in Pakistan. Operating in self defense, the ISAF aircraft entered into Pakistani airspace killing several armed individuals. Subsequently, Pakistan military officials informed ISAF that some members of their border forces in the area had been struck by coalition aircraft. ISAF and Pakistani forces are reviewing the operational reporting to verify the exact location of the two engagements and the facts in this case, officials said, noting they’ll work together to fully investigate this incident. Both sides have in mind that it is the insurgents, operating on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and violating the territorial sovereignty of both countries, that we are focused on fighting. ISAF conveys its sincere condolences to the Pakistani military and the families of those who were killed or injured.

-- ISAF confirmed the capture of Nawa-ye Barakzai, a Taliban senior 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 Taliban operatives within the network. "The security force, in partnership with Afghan National Security Forces, is concentrating their efforts on removing the upper-tier insurgent leaders from the battle space in order to establish the conditions to sustain peace and security for Afghanistan," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.

-- An insurgent vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded in the Daman district of Kandahar province during an apparent attack on an ISAF patrol. As a result of the attack, two Afghan civilians were killed and 12 more were wounded. ISAF servicemembers medically evacuated the wounded to Camp Hero where they are currently being treated. An insurgent driving a black sedan used the vehicle-borne IED to target coalition troops traveling in a patrol near Kandahar. The insurgent was also killed in the attack. According to reports, the blast also caused substantial damage to buildings in the immediate area as well as leaving a significant crater in the highway. One coalition vehicle was damaged in the attack.

In yesterday’s Afghanistan news:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Zabul province while in pursuit of a Taliban facilitator who purchases and distributes improvised explosive device materials while leading Taliban forces within the province. The Taliban facilitator is responsible for the November suicide bomber attack against Forward Operating Base Bullard, which killed two coalition force soldiers and wounded an Afghan civilian. Intelligence information led the security force to a compound in Qalat district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the combined force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgents.

-- Afghan and coalition forces conducted a clearing operation aimed at disrupting the Taliban's freedom of movement in Kunduz province, killing three insurgents. The joint security force targeted a series of compounds in Chahar Darah district after intelligence indicated insurgent activity. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for the occupants of each compound to exit the buildings peacefully and then secured them. The joint force encountered armed enemy insurgents and coalition forces engaged the threats, killing three. Afghan and coalition forces are focusing on clearing known safe havens and denying the insurgents use of these areas.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained one suspected insurgent in Kandahar province Wednesday while in their continued pursuit of the Taliban deputy district leader for Dand. The targeted individual allocates and distributes ammunition and weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, to fighters in his area. He is also reportedly involved in the acquisition of suicide vests and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound in Panjwa'i district. 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 compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgent. The assault force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained one suspected Taliban leader in Badghis province while in pursuit of the Taliban shadow governor of Bala Murghab district. The targeted individual is responsible for coordinating improvised explosive device attacks in Bala Murghab against civilians. The security force tracked one individual walking in a wadi in Bala Murghab district. Coalition aircraft initiated containment fires before the ground force interdicted the insurgent peacefully. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained one suspected insurgent. The ground force did not fire their weapons during this operation.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several suspected insurgents in Helmand province while in pursuit of a senior Taliban leader operating in Now Zad district. The targeted individual has 60 fighters under his command and conducts improvised explosive device attacks. He also allocates and distributes weapons, ammunition and IED material throughout the district. Based on intelligence reports, the security force targeted a compound in Now Zad 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 compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained three suspected insurgents. 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 suspected insurgents in Kandahar province Wednesday while in their continued pursuit of a Taliban senior leader operating in Kandahar City and Panjwa'i districts. The leader commands small groups of fighters in their attacks against Afghan civilians, Afghan National Security and coalition forces. Intelligence reports led the security force to a remote compound in Panjwa'i 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 the suspected insurgents. The security force also found 30 pounds of wet opium and detonation cord at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

 

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