Afghan, Coalition Forces Find Several Weapons Caches

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2010 — Afghan and coali­tion forces uncov­ered sev­er­al weapons caches today dur­ing oper­a­tions in Afghanistan’s Hel­mand, Uruz­gan and Kan­da­har provinces, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.
Dur­ing a com­bined dis­mount­ed patrol in Hel­mand province, Afghan sol­diers and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force troops found a weapons cache in the Mar­jeh dis­trict. The cache con­sist­ed of 17 mor­tar round fus­es, 15 82 mm mor­tar rounds, 16 shot­gun shells, 850 7.62 mm rounds, one jug con­tain­ing 50 pounds of an unknown sub­stance, two emp­ty direc­tion­al frag­men­ta­tion charge con­tain­ers, two anti-tank mines, an impro­vised rock­et launch­er, one illu­mi­nat­ing can­is­ter and three pres­sure plates.

In Uruz­gan province, Afghan Army and ISAF forces found two caches in the Tarin Kot dis­trict. The first cache con­sist­ed of two motor­cy­cle bat­ter­ies buried in a rock wall. The sec­ond cache includ­ed 500 rounds of 5.56 mm, sev­en AK-47 mag­a­zines con­tain­ing 265 7.62 mm rounds, two grenades, 10 grenade fus­es and addi­tion­al ammu­ni­tion.

In Kan­da­har province, an ISAF patrol found a weapons cache con­sist­ing of 12 61 mm shells and nine 60 mm shells.

In oth­er news today:

— Coali­tion offi­cials announced that Afghan sol­diers with the 3rd Kan­dak, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps, work­ing with­Afghan police and coali­tion forces, con­duct­ed Oper­a­tion Strong Resolve Nov. 13. The oper­a­tion was an Afghan led, joint oper­a­tion designed to reaf­firm the Afghan government’s influ­ence and estab­lish a per­ma­nent patrol base in the vicin­i­ty of Nabu Agha, Musa Qal’ah. Through­out the two-day oper­a­tion, the Afghan sol­diers and police engaged mul­ti­ple tar­gets. Using com­bined arms, the joint force killed sev­en insur­gents and detained sev­er­al oth­ers. The force also found and destroyed two impro­vised explo­sive devices.

— Afghan and ISAF offi­cials are inves­ti­gat­ing report­ed civil­ian casu­al­ty alle­ga­tions after coali­tion forces fired mor­tar rounds in response to insur­gent attacks near the vil­lage of Tan­til in the Darah-ye Pech dis­trict of Kunar province. Ini­tial reports indi­cate that three or four rounds land­ed in the vil­lage. The inci­dent is cur­rent­ly under inves­ti­ga­tion. “We take civil­ian casu­al­ty alle­ga­tions seri­ous­ly and we do every­thing with­in our pow­er to pre­vent civil­ian casu­al­ties in the course of oper­a­tions,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, ISAF Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter direc­tor.

In last night’s oper­a­tions:

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a key Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor, who served as a liai­son between Haqqani and Tal­iban oper­a­tives in north­ern Afghanistan, dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Bagh­lan province. The facil­i­ta­tor was report­ed­ly in con­tact with Pak­istan-based senior lead­er­ship from both insur­gent groups and was a top tar­get for Afghan and coali­tion forces. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a series of com­pounds in the Bagh­lan-e Jadid dis­trict to search for the facil­i­ta­tor. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the com­pounds peace­ful­ly before the joint secu­ri­ty force cleared and secured the area. Ini­tial ques­tion­ing at the scene helped iden­ti­fy the tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual, who was detained along with six of his asso­ciates. The secu­ri­ty force also dis­cov­ered and destroyed an auto­mat­ic weapon and a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­er at the scene.

In yesterday’s oper­a­tions:

— Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces con­duct­ed an oper­a­tion to detain a senior Tal­iban leader in Now Zad dis­trict, Hel­mand province. The senior Tal­iban leader is a senior facil­i­ta­tor of impro­vised explo­sive devices and a key con­duit of infor­ma­tion and finan­cial sup­port between provin­cial senior Tal­iban lead­er­ship and senior Tal­iban lead­er­ship in Pak­istan. He also planned, coor­di­nat­ed and exe­cut­ed impro­vised explo­sive device attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces. Mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence sources led the joint secu­ri­ty force to the sus­pect­ed loca­tion of the senior Tal­iban leader. Upon arrival at the loca­tion, the force imme­di­ate­ly came under fire by two insur­gents. The force returned fire, killing both insur­gents. Upon sur­round­ing the com­pound, Afghan forces called out all occu­pants in order to allow them to exit peace­ful­ly. A total of four men, five women and 10 chil­dren were pro­tect­ed. As the force entered the com­pound, three insur­gents opened fire on them. The secu­ri­ty force returned fire killing the three. The force then secured and searched the com­pound. Dur­ing the search, sev­er­al insur­gents were detained, along with numer­ous auto­mat­ic weapons, ammu­ni­tion and 22 pounds of opi­um. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing, Afghan forces detained numer­ous insur­gents for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. It is cur­rent­ly being assessed whether the Tal­iban leader was one of the killed or detained insur­gents. The weapons and opi­um were destroyed on site.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Haqqani net­work leader known to facil­i­tate the move­ment of IED mate­ri­als dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Khost province. The tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual, who also coor­di­nat­ed IED attacks, is the 12th Haqqani net­work leader cap­tured by Afghan and coali­tion forces in the province this month. Intel­li­gence reports led the secu­ri­ty force to a com­pound in Motu­ni in Ter­ayzai dis­trict to search for the Haqqani leader. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the com­pound peace­ful­ly before the joint secu­ri­ty force cleared and secured the area. Ini­tial ques­tion­ing at the scene helped iden­ti­fy the tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual, who was detained along with one of his asso­ciates. The assault force con­duct­ed the oper­a­tion with no shots fired and they ensured the safe­ty of the women and chil­dren through­out the search.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents dur­ing three oper­a­tions aimed at cap­tur­ing Tal­iban lead­er­ship through­out Afghanistan. All three oper­a­tions were con­duct­ed peace­ful­ly and with­out civil­ian casu­al­ties. The secu­ri­ty force has con­duct­ed more than 93 per­cent of their oper­a­tions with­out shots fired this month. A joint secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents dur­ing an oper­a­tion tar­get­ing a Tal­iban for­eign-fight­er facil­i­ta­tor in Khash Rod dis­trict, Nim­roz province. The tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual is direct­ly asso­ci­at­ed with a Tal­iban net­work known for facil­i­tat­ing for­eign fight­ers into Afghanistan through west­ern Farah province. He is also con­sid­ered an impro­vised explo­sive device spe­cial­ist. A sep­a­rate secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed Tal­iban mem­bers asso­ci­at­ed with an IED leader in the Shah Joy dis­trict of Zab­ul province overnight. The tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual for the oper­a­tion con­ducts and plans IED attacks against Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty mem­bers. He also is involved in kid­nap­ping mem­bers of the Afghanistan gov­ern­ment. The secu­ri­ty team secured the tar­get­ed area in search of the Tal­iban leader. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call all occu­pants to exit the build­ings peace­ful­ly before con­duct­ing the search. The joint team detained the sus­pects based on ini­tial ques­tion­ing at the scene. In Log­ar province, Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent dur­ing their search for an extreme­ly active Tal­iban leader. The tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual is a weapons and IED expert for insur­gents oper­at­ing in Bara­ki Barak dis­trict. He also plans and exe­cutes attacks against coali­tion forces. The secu­ri­ty force fol­lowed intel­li­gence tips to a remote com­pound in Pul-e ‘Alam dis­trict to search for the tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual. After an Afghan-led call out, the joint secu­ri­ty force con­duct­ed the search and con­fis­cat­ed two bags of urea nitrate, often used to man­u­fac­ture IEDs. After the area was secure, the joint team detained the sus­pect­ed insur­gent based on ini­tial ques­tion­ing at the scene.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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