Afghan, Coalition Forces Pursue Enemy Fighters, Leaders

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2010 — Afghan and coali­tion forces con­tin­ued their pur­suit of ene­my fight­ers, lead­ers and facil­i­ta­tors in sev­er­al recent oper­a­tions, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

In Kab­ul province today, mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence sources and tips from local res­i­dents led a joint Afghan and coali­tion force patrol to an insur­gent cell that was plan­ning an attack on the Kab­ul Mil­i­tary Train­ing Cen­ter dur­ing the upcom­ing elec­tions.

The patrol moved into the tar­get­ed com­pound with­out inci­dent and detained two men who test­ed pos­i­tive for han­dling explo­sives. While they were being ques­tioned by Afghan author­i­ties, the men impli­cat­ed a local reli­gious leader as a co-con­spir­a­tor, who also was arrest­ed.

In an intel­li­gence-dri­ven oper­a­tion in Kun­duz province yes­ter­day, Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban dis­trict com­man­der for the province’s Cha­har Darah dis­trict.

The com­man­der main­tains con­nec­tions with Pak­istani-based Tal­iban lead­er­ship and com­mands a group of al-Qai­da and Tal­iban mem­bers with­in his dis­trict.

The secu­ri­ty force found mul­ti­ple weapons and mag­a­zines at the scene, did not fire their weapons, and pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

In a sep­a­rate oper­a­tion in the same dis­trict yes­ter­day, Afghan and coali­tion forces act­ing on intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion detained sev­er­al insur­gents, includ­ing an Uzbek nation­al who facil­i­tates for­eign-fight­er oper­a­tions in Cha­har Darah for the Islam­ic Move­ment of Uzbek­istan ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion and main­tains ties to local Tal­iban and Iran­ian-based facil­i­ta­tors in the orga­ni­za­tion.

The secu­ri­ty force found and destroyed weapons bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als at the scene. They did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

In Khost province’s Ter­ayzai dis­trict yes­ter­day, Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces act­ing on intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion detained two insur­gents, includ­ing a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work facil­i­ta­tor involved in gath­er­ing bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als and car­ry­ing out attacks. The secu­ri­ty force found mul­ti­ple weapons and mag­a­zines at the scene, did not fire their weapons, and pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

In War­dak province yes­ter­day, mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence sources and tips from local res­i­dents led coali­tion forces to the loca­tion of a known Tal­iban dis­trict com­man­der, who was tar­get­ed and killed by a coali­tion air strike yes­ter­day.

Accord­ing to intel­li­gence reports, the Tal­iban dis­trict com­man­der had received exten­sive train­ing in Pak­istan in the man­u­fac­tur­ing and emplac­ing of road­side bombs and con­struc­tion of sui­cide-bomber vests. He also was direct­ly respon­si­ble for order­ing attacks and plant­ed road­side bombs through­out War­dak. He also was known to have facil­i­tat­ed recent sui­cide bomb­ings in Kab­ul province, and to have been active­ly plan­ning attacks in hopes of dis­rupt­ing Afghanistan’s upcom­ing elec­tions.

Ini­tial reports indi­cate no civil­ians were in the area dur­ing the strike, offi­cials said.

In Pak­tia province’s Sha­ran dis­trict yes­ter­day, an Afghan civil­ian was killed after fail­ing to heed sev­er­al warn­ings to stop approach­ing a secu­ri­ty perime­ter.

After a con­voy was attacked with device road­side bomb, coali­tion forces set up a secu­ri­ty perime­ter and were approached by an Afghan who failed to stop after receiv­ing sev­er­al ver­bal and visu­al warn­ings. Coali­tion forces fol­lowed the appro­pri­ate esca­la­tion of force pro­ce­dures before engag­ing and killing him, offi­cials said.

In Nan­garhar province last night, an Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force killed three insur­gents dur­ing the con­tin­ued pur­suit of a Tal­iban mem­ber who spe­cial­izes in advanced road­side bombs.

When the secu­ri­ty force approached the tar­get­ed com­pound in the Sherzad dis­trict, sev­er­al armed insur­gents hid­ing in a tree line fired at them. The secu­ri­ty force returned fire. When the gun­fire sub­sided, the secu­ri­ty force searched the area and found that three armed insur­gents had been killed. A minor who was with the insur­gents also was killed in the engage­ment.

“Afghan and coali­tion forces do not inten­tion­al­ly tar­get minors, and we take these inci­dents very seri­ous­ly,” said Air Force Col. James Dawkins, ISAF Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter direc­tor. “The secu­ri­ty force always exer­cis­es extreme mea­sures to avoid injur­ing inno­cent civil­ians, but insur­gents con­tin­u­ous­ly take actions that place them at risk. While every sol­dier has a right to self defense, we great­ly regret these inci­dents.”

In stark con­trast to Tal­iban procla­ma­tions that they are com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the Afghan pop­u­la­tion, real­i­ty con­tin­ues to show that the pre­vail­ing threat to the Afghan peo­ple remains indis­crim­i­nant insur­gent vio­lence, ISAF offi­cials said, not­ing that insur­gents are respon­si­ble for 25 Afghan civil­ian deaths and 60 injuries so far this month.

“While the Tal­iban talk of pro­tect­ing the peo­ple and issue disin­gen­u­ous direc­tives claim­ing to shield Afghans from harm, instead they have increased their use of indis­crim­i­nate vio­lence, killing scores of inno­cent Afghans” said Navy Rear Adm. Greg Smith, ISAF com­mu­ni­ca­tion direc­tor. “Their rhetoric does not match real­i­ty.”

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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