Afghan, Coalition Troops Find Insurgent Weapons Factory

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2010 — An Afghan and coali­tion force con­duct­ing a dis­mount­ed patrol today dis­cov­ered an insur­gent weapons fac­to­ry in San­gin dis­trict, Hel­mand province, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

The com­bined force dis­cov­ered a build­ing that con­tained six 55-pound bar­rels of home­made explo­sives, scales, a boil­er room, and a dry­ing room. After cat­a­logu­ing and tak­ing pic­tures of the weapons mate­ri­als, the force deter­mined the best way to destroy the mate­ri­als was to con­duct a pre­ci­sion artillery strike.

The Afghan and coali­tion forces ver­i­fied that no civil­ians were in the area and cor­doned off a safe­ty zone approx­i­mate­ly 300 meters from the fac­to­ry. The forces main­tained con­trol of the area until three rock­ets hit the fac­to­ry, destroy­ing it and its con­tents in place.

In oth­er Afghanistan news today:

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Haqqani Net­work facil­i­ta­tor who coor­di­nat­ed impro­vised explo­sive device sup­plies and con­duct­ed IED attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces, dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Khost province overnight. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound east of Ali Shir Alaqe­hdari in Ter­ayzai 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 iden­ti­fied and detained the facil­i­ta­tor along with sev­er­al of his asso­ciates. The secu­ri­ty force also found a grenade and shot­gun, along with mul­ti­ple AK-47 rifle mag­a­zines, at the scene.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed the Tal­iban deputy leader for Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­trict who coor­di­nates the activ­i­ties of Tal­iban fight­ers in the dis­trict, detain­ing two sus­pect­ed insur­gents dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Hel­mand province overnight. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound south of Khal­ifeh Shirin Kowr in Nahr-e Saraj 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 began to clear the com­pound. Dur­ing the clear­ance, the secu­ri­ty force killed a man when he charged at the secu­ri­ty force. After ques­tion­ing at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents. In neigh­bor­ing Kan­da­har province, a sep­a­rate secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a Tal­iban senior leader and facil­i­ta­tor who directs the place­ment of impro­vised explo­sive devices and facil­i­tates the move­ment of fight­ers and mate­ri­als. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound east of Salavat in Panjwa’i dis­trict to search for the tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual. After an Afghan-led call-out, the joint secu­ri­ty force cleared and secured the com­pound. The secu­ri­ty force then detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents, after ini­tial ques­tion­ing at the scene. No shots were fired dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

In yesterday’s Afghanistan news:

— Coali­tion forces con­duct­ed pre­ci­sion air strikes in Bagh­lan province tar­get­ing the senior Tal­iban mil­i­tary leader for Dahanah-ye Ghori and Pul-e Khum­ri dis­tricts. The leader plants impro­vised explo­sive devices, and sup­plies financ­ing, weapons and ammu­ni­tion to Tal­iban lead­er­ship oper­at­ing in the area. He also plans attacks on check­points between Bagh­lan-e Jadid and Pul-e Khum­ri dis­tricts. Intel­li­gence tracked a group of armed insur­gents to a remote area of Dahanah-ye Ghori dis­trict. After con­fir­ma­tion of insur­gent activ­i­ty and care­ful plan­ning to ensure no civil­ians were present, coali­tion forces con­duct­ed the pre­ci­sion air strikes on the group. The strikes report­ed­ly killed more than 10 insur­gents armed with rock­et-pro­pelled grenades and auto­mat­ic weapons, but Afghan and coali­tion forces were unable to con­duct a ground assess­ment. ISAF still is gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion to con­firm the reports and to deter­mine if the tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual was among those killed in the strike.

— A detainee in ISAF cus­tody was found dead in his hold­ing cell in south­ern Afghanistan. The detainee was cap­tured dur­ing an Oct. 16 oper­a­tion and was being held in Kan­da­har province. An inves­ti­ga­tion is ongo­ing into the cir­cum­stances of the man’s death.

— An Afghan and coali­tion force con­duct­ing a dis­mount­ed patrol dis­cov­ered a large stock­pile of insur­gent weapons, drugs and explo­sives in south­ern Afghanistan. The com­bined force also detained two indi­vid­u­als asso­ci­at­ed with the weapons dur­ing the oper­a­tion in the Musa Qal’ah dis­trict of Hel­mand province. The weapons found include sev­er­al rock­ets, two bags of ammo­ni­um nitrate, 10 kilo­grams of opi­um, one machine gun drum loaded with 75 rounds, one AK-47 rifle with six mag­a­zines, 300 AK-47 rounds and 60 AK-47 trac­er rounds. The cache and detainees were trans­port­ed to a for­ward oper­at­ing base where the cache will be safe­ly destroyed.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained numer­ous sus­pect­ed insur­gents in three overnight oper­a­tions in north­ern and east­ern Afghanistan aimed at cap­tur­ing Tal­iban and Haqqani Net­work lead­er­ship. In Khost province, an Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a Haqqani Net­work facil­i­ta­tor respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing the move­ment of weapons through­out Sabari dis­trict. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound in Sabari 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 of the res­i­dents at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents. A sep­a­rate secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a Tal­iban leader who com­mands Tal­iban units oper­at­ing in Ghazni province and main­tains close ties with senior Tal­iban lead­er­ship in Pak­istan, detain­ing sus­pect­ed insur­gents dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion in Ghazni. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound north of the vil­lage of Gahari Sofla in Andar dis­trict to search for the tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual. After an Afghan-led call­out, the joint secu­ri­ty force cleared and secured the com­pound. The secu­ri­ty force detained the sus­pect­ed insur­gents after ini­tial ques­tion­ing of the res­i­dents at the scene. In north­ern Badghis province, a com­bined force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents dur­ing an oper­a­tion tar­get­ing the Tal­iban shad­ow gov­er­nor for the province Oct. 16. He became the new shad­ow gov­er­nor for province ear­li­er this month, replac­ing Mul­lah Ismail who was killed in a joint oper­a­tion Oct 6. The tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual is respon­si­ble for IED attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces in Badghis province and was also heav­i­ly involved with the dis­ap­pear­ance of U.S. sol­diers last Novem­ber.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor who led an impro­vised explo­sive device attack cell in Qalat and Shah Joy dis­tricts, dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Zab­ul province overnight. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a remote com­pound in Shinkai 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 of the res­i­dents at the scene the secu­ri­ty force iden­ti­fied and detained the facil­i­ta­tor. The secu­ri­ty force also dis­cov­ered a sniper rifle with ammu­ni­tion along with a pis­tol and home­made explo­sives.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a Tal­iban IED and nar­cotics facil­i­ta­tor for Mai­wand and Lashkar Gah dis­tricts, detain­ing two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Hel­mand province overnight. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a remote com­pound in Lashkar Gah 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 of the res­i­dents at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents. Dur­ing the clear­ance, the secu­ri­ty force killed an insur­gent armed with a pis­tol after he emerged from the tar­get­ed com­pound and threat­ened the secu­ri­ty force. The secu­ri­ty force also found a pres­sure plate IED ini­tia­tor at the scene.

In Oct. 16 Afghanistan news:

— Afghan and ISAF troops freed a kid­napped child and detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed kid­nap­pers in Kab­ul. Mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence reports and tips from local cit­i­zens led the com­bined secu­ri­ty force to the loca­tion of the kid­napped boy. Upon sur­round­ing the loca­tion, Afghan secu­ri­ty forces entered the loca­tion and freed the boy with­out inci­dent. Five sus­pects were detained. The kid­napped boy, the son of an Afghan gov­ern­ment offi­cial, was unharmed and reunit­ed with his fam­i­ly.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces dis­cov­ered a large IED cache dur­ing a patrol in the Zharay dis­trict of Kan­da­har province. The patrol found more than 30 anti-per­son­nel mines, five anti-tank mines, more than 20 hand grenades and more than 300 meters of det­o­na­tion cord. An explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al team dis­armed the devices in place.

— Coali­tion forces con­duct­ed pre­ci­sion air strikes in Pak­tiya province tar­get­ing a Haqqani Net­work senior leader who sup­plies weapons and con­ducts attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces oper­at­ing in neigh­bor­ing Musa Khel dis­trict of Khost province. Intel­li­gence tracked two groups of insur­gents armed with heavy weapons, includ­ing rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, machine guns and auto­mat­ic weapons, to remote areas of Shwak and Dzad­ran dis­tricts after the insur­gents had con­duct­ed an attack in the area. After care­ful plan­ning to ensure no civil­ians were present, coali­tion forces con­duct­ed the pre­ci­sion air strikes on the groups. The strikes report­ed­ly killed more than five insur­gents, but Afghan and coali­tion forces were unable to con­duct a ground assess­ment.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader who led IED and direct-fire attacks in Pak­ti­ka province. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound north of Alaqe­hdari-ye Yahya Khel 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 of the res­i­dents at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force iden­ti­fied and detained the tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual along with three of his asso­ciates.

— Afghan and ISAF troops locat­ed and destroyed an impro­vised explo­sive facil­i­ta­tion and stor­age com­pound dur­ing an oper­a­tion in the San­gin dis­trict of Hel­mand province. Mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence reports and tips from local cit­i­zens led the com­bined force to the com­pound ascer­tained to be the pri­ma­ry IED facil­i­ta­tion and stor­age facil­i­ty in the dis­trict. The tar­get com­pound is asso­ci­at­ed with a senior San­gin-based Tal­iban leader and facil­i­ta­tor of IEDs and their com­po­nents along with oth­er lethal aid in the San­gin area. The com­pound has a his­toric link with insur­gency in the area, and has been reg­u­lar­ly used by Tal­iban lead­ers and facil­i­ta­tors as a Tal­iban com­mand and con­trol facil­i­ty. Intel­li­gence estab­lished the facil­i­ty was filled with IEDs, but was also thor­ough­ly rigged with explo­sives to deny access by any­one oth­er than the Tal­iban; vil­lagers would not go near the build­ing. The com­bined Afghan and coali­tion force visu­al­ly detect­ed numer­ous boo­by traps, as well as explo­sive residue around the facil­i­ty, to cor­rob­o­rate the intel­li­gence reports. The patrol ensured Afghan civil­ians in the area were a safe dis­tance from the site and pro­tect­ed them in an enclosed build­ing, before they safe­ly destroyed the build­ing. Large sec­ondary explo­sions indi­cat­ed that the IED cache was size­able. “Local Afghans can feel a lit­tle more secure know­ing these weapons won’t harm them or the secu­ri­ty forces that are there to pro­tect them,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, ISAF Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter direc­tor.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured a Haqqani Net­work leader who main­tained weapons caches and planned attacks, dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion in Pak­ti­ka province. The leader’s cap­ture will help degrade the Haqqani Network’s oper­a­tions in north­east­ern Pak­it­ka, while enhanc­ing coun­terin­sur­gency ini­tia­tives in the area. Intel­li­gence tips led the secu­ri­ty force to a series of com­pounds south of Delay in Ziruk dis­trict. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit each com­pound 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 tar­get­ed indi­vid­ual along with sev­er­al of his asso­ciates.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor for weapons, ammu­ni­tion and sui­cide bombers in Kan­da­har City dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion in the city. Intel­li­gence tips led the secu­ri­ty force to a com­pound in Kan­da­har City to search for the facil­i­ta­tor. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the com­pound 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 facil­i­ta­tor along with sev­er­al of his asso­ciates.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Tal­iban weapons facil­i­ta­tor who played a key role in the facil­i­ta­tion of weapons and impro­vised explo­sive devices in Now Zad dis­trict of Hel­mand province, dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion in the province. The facil­i­ta­tor main­tained con­tact with Tal­iban in Chaman, Pak­istan, and was also involved in the facil­i­ta­tion of home­made explo­sive pre­cur­sors. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound north of the vil­lage of Anarak in Now Zand 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 of the res­i­dents at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force iden­ti­fied and detained the facil­i­ta­tor and sev­er­al of his asso­ciates.

Source:
Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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