WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2010 — Afghan and coalition forces yesterday disrupted a Taliban plot to carry out suicide bombings in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, military officials reported.
Troops were searching for a Taliban leader and suicide-bomb facilitator in the province’s Kajaki district. Insurgents opened fire as the troops approached, and Afghan and coalition forces eventually killed numerous armed insurgents. Several of the dead insurgents’ bodies were completely shaved and possessed poems. Officials said those characteristics among Taliban operatives indicate they were planning a suicide attack.
Also yesterday in Afghanistan:
— Officials from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force confirmed the identity of a Taliban leader captured Dec. 10 in Khost province. The Taliban leader is reportedly responsible for coordinating attacks on Afghan and coalition troops throughout the province.
— Security forces captured several suspected insurgents in Kandahar and Helmand province. Troops were targeting members of a Kandahar bombing network with alleged ties to a car bombing last month that took the lives of six American soldiers. Several suspects were taken into custody by separate coalition elements in Kandahar and Helmand provinces without incident.
— Afghan and coalition forces in Wardak province’s Cah‑e Wardak district detained a Taliban leader without incident. The Taliban is allegedly connected to several attacks on security forces in the area.
In operations Dec. 11:
— More than 40 insurgents were killed in the past 24 hours by Afghan and coalition troops throughout southern and eastern Afghanistan.
More than 25 insurgents were killed in Kunar province when troops under fire called for close-air support. Another operation in Kunar resulted in numerous insurgents being killed and several detained. In Helmand province, troops monitored as several insurgents attempted to plant roadside bombs. The incident was reported, and aviation support killed all of the insurgents involved.
— Afghan and coalition forces killed two armed insurgents, including a Taliban leader, in Wardak province’s Sayyidabad district. He was responsible for weapons trafficking and conducting attacks against security forces. Troops targeted and approached his location, based on tips from local residents. He and an associate were armed and threatened the troops. Both were killed immediately.
— Afghan and coalition forces killed one insurgent and detained 10 in an operation in Nangarhar province. Troops were searching for a man they believe leads a large group of fighters in the province’s Sherzad district. Troops approached his believed location and were confronted by an armed insurgent. They killed him immediately. Troops also confiscated bomb-making materials.
— In Kunduz province, security forces killed an armed insurgent and detained five others. Troops were searching for a terrorist leader with connections to trafficking foreign fighters from Uzbekistan and suicide bombers from Pakistan. Troops surrounded the targeted location. An armed insurgent confronted the force, and was killed immediately. Five others were detained for further questioning.
— Afghan and coalition forces in Khost province detained a senior Haqqani terrorist network leader connected to numerous attacks in the province. Tips from local residents led troops to the insurgent’s location. Troops detained the leader without incident.
— Security forces detained a Taliban bomb facilitator in Zabul province’s Shah Joy district. Troops also detained two other suspected insurgents and found a weapons stockpile. The stockpile included numerous assault rifles with ammunition and bomb-making materials.
— Troops in Helmand province detained two men at a vehicle checkpoint who were traveling with large quantities of opium and refined morphine and an assault rifle.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases