Afghan, Coalition Troops Kill, Capture Hundreds of Insurgents

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2010 — Afghan and coali­tion forces killed or cap­tured hun­dreds of Tal­iban and Haqqani extrem­ists dur­ing the past month, mil­i­tary offi­cials said.

In August, the secu­ri­ty forces detained more than 500 insur­gents and killed 160 more. Among the cap­tured or killed were 23 Haqqani net­work chiefs and 53 Tal­iban lead­ers. These lead­er­ship fig­ures include shad­ow gov­er­nors, com­man­ders, sub­com­man­ders and weapons facil­i­ta­tors.

Clear rules of engage­ment and extreme mea­sures were tak­en to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties, result­ing in 85 per­cent of the 186 oper­a­tions con­duct­ed with­out shots fired.

“August was an extreme­ly suc­cess­ful month for Afghan and coali­tion forces in which sev­er­al high-lev­el Haqqani and Tal­iban lead­ers were cap­tured,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, the direc­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Command’s Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter. “These oper­a­tions have degrad­ed the insur­gents’ capa­bil­i­ties to exe­cute com­plex attacks against the Afghan pop­u­la­tion, and helped facil­i­tate fur­ther secu­ri­ty force oper­a­tions to degrade insur­gent crim­i­nal activ­i­ties in Afghanistan.”

For exam­ple, this week Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured and killed sev­er­al Haqqani net­work com­man­ders fol­low­ing attempt­ed attacks on For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Saler­no and Chap­man. Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the attacks, coali­tion forces con­duct­ed a pre­ci­sion air strike on a vehi­cle occu­pied by three Haqqani fight­ers as they were flee­ing the area. Mudasir, a Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor of sui­cide bombers and impro­vised explo­sive devices, was killed along with two addi­tion­al insur­gents. Mudasir, who was also known as Qari Ishaq, had direct ties to Haqqani net­work senior lead­er­ship based in Pak­istan and was a teacher at a madras­sa known to facil­i­tate sui­cide bombers.

“We will con­tin­ue to kill or cap­ture these insur­gent groups who are con­stant­ly ter­ror­iz­ing the peace­ful peo­ple of Afghanistan,” Tor­res said. “These com­bined oper­a­tions estab­lish the secu­ri­ty need­ed to make fea­si­ble ANSF train­ing, local pop­u­lace pro­tec­tion and improv­ing gov­er­nance through­out the coun­try.” In oth­er news:

— An Afghan-coali­tion force detained sev­er­al insur­gents in Ghazni province. While con­duct­ing a rou­tine mis­sion in the local area, Afghan and coali­tion forces came under mor­tar attack from local insur­gent forces. The com­bined force quick­ly locat­ed the mor­tar loca­tion at a near­by com­pound. When Afghan and coali­tion forces entered the com­pound, sev­er­al males ran away. They were sub­se­quent­ly caught, detained and test­ed for explo­sive residue. The tests came back pos­i­tive, and the attack­ers were detained in the cus­tody of the Afghan nation­al police. “Acts of vio­lence against Afghan and coali­tion forces will not be tol­er­at­ed,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, direc­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter. “We will con­tin­ue to seek out and detain the ene­mies of Afghanistan who wish to inflict harm on Afghan peo­ple, as well as Afghan and coali­tion forces.”

— Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces assessed that one of the insur­gents detained in Kun­duz province Aug. 31 was plan­ning to car­ry out a sui­cide attack. Dur­ing their search the secu­ri­ty force dis­cov­ered an intact impro­vised explo­sive device wired inside a suit­case.

— The Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force con­firmed that an Aug. 30 coali­tion force pre­ci­sion air strike in Kan­da­har province killed Zul­mai, a Tal­iban com­man­der respon­si­ble for direct­ing impro­vised explo­sive device attacks against Afghan civil­ians and Afghan and coali­tion forces. The com­man­der also coor­di­nat­ed the move­ment of sup­plies and fight­ers through­out the province. Intel­li­gence tracked three Tal­iban insur­gents to an open, unpop­u­lat­ed field of Zharay dis­trict. After ensur­ing no civil­ians were present, coali­tion air­craft engaged the insur­gents, killing Zul­mai and anoth­er insur­gent, and wound­ing the oth­er. Ini­tial oper­at­ing report­ing states there were no civil­ian casu­al­ties. In Aug. 31 news:

— A motor­cy­cle-borne IED det­o­nat­ed in Kan­da­har, killing Kandahar’s hajj and pil­grim­age chief and his body guard. Six Afghan civil­ians were also wound­ed in the explo­sion. “Our thoughts are with their fam­i­ly dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, direc­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter. “Crim­i­nals con­tin­ue to attack Afghan civil­ians and gov­ern­ment offi­cials show­ing a total dis­re­gard for human life and the peace­ful peo­ple of this coun­try.”

— Coali­tion forces cap­tured two sus­pect­ed insur­gents and locat­ed and seized a weapons cache in the Mala­jat dis­trict of Kan­da­har province. Dur­ing joint clear­ing oper­a­tions south of Kan­da­har City, Afghan police, along with sol­diers of 1st Brigade Com­bat Team, 4th Infantry Divi­sion dis­cov­ered a weapons cache and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als. The oper­a­tion recov­ered weapons, sev­er­al hun­dred rounds of ammu­ni­tion and IED com­po­nents. Two sus­pect­ed insur­gents were detained. The weapons and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als were con­fis­cat­ed by Afghan secu­ri­ty forces. “The rapid response of vig­i­lant ANSF and ISAF forces helped remove crim­i­nals off the streets of Kan­da­har and dis­rupt­ed future insur­gent oper­a­tions,” said Maj. Earl Brown, spokesman for the 1st Brigade Com­bat Team, 4th Infantry Divi­sion.

— An Afghan-coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al insur­gents in Hel­mand province while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban shad­ow gov­er­nor in Musa Qal’ah dis­trict. Four insur­gents were killed.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained two insur­gents in Ghazni province, includ­ing a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der linked to coor­di­nat­ing attacks which threat­en the secu­ri­ty and safe­ty of the local pop­u­la­tion. Act­ing on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound in the vil­lage of Pajak in Deh Yak dis­trict to search for the com­man­der. Afghan sol­diers used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the build­ings peace­ful­ly and then secured the area. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing, the assault force iden­ti­fied and detained the com­man­der and anoth­er insur­gent for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. The secu­ri­ty force found mul­ti­ple weapons at the scene. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire their weapons and they pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al insur­gents in Nan­garhar province while in pur­suit of the Tal­iban shad­ow gov­er­nor for Rodat dis­trict who is linked to for­eign fight­ers and sui­cide bombers. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound south­east of the vil­lage of Sarachah in Behsud dis­trict to search the area. Afghan sol­diers used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the build­ings peace­ful­ly and then secured the area. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing, the assault force detained the insur­gents.

— An Afghan-coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al insur­gents in Khost province, includ­ing a Haqqani net­work facil­i­ta­tor linked to coor­di­nat­ing the move­ment of weapons and IED-mak­ing mate­ri­als. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a series of com­pounds north­east of the vil­lage of Badi Kheyl in Khost dis­trict to search for the facil­i­ta­tor. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing, the assault force detained the facil­i­ta­tor along with two of his asso­ciates for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. “The pres­sure will con­tin­ue against the Haqqani net­work lead­er­ship,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, the direc­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter. “As a result of these oper­a­tions, Haqqani’s lead­er­ship in Khost and Pak­tiya provinces is severe­ly dis­rupt­ed, allow­ing the time and space for the Afghan gov­ern­ment to spread its influ­ence to bet­ter sup­port the Afghan peo­ple.” The secu­ri­ty force did not fire their weapons and they pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

— An Afghan-coali­tion force con­duct­ing a med­ical evac­u­a­tion mis­sion were forced to fire on two Afghan civil­ians who dis­played hos­tile intent to the com­bined force in the area of Mar­jah in Hel­mand province. The com­bined force had estab­lished a cor­don to await the arrival of a med­ical evac­u­a­tion heli­copter when the two Afghan civil­ians approached the cor­don. The com­bined force used estab­lished pro­ce­dures to warn the indi­vid­u­als to stop and exit the area. The indi­vid­u­als ignored the warn­ings and con­tin­ued to advance toward the cor­don. The com­bined force deter­mined that the indi­vid­u­als dis­played hos­tile intent, and in accor­dance with estab­lished pro­ce­dures, the force fired on the indi­vid­u­als. One Afghan civil­ian was killed and the oth­er wound­ed. The com­bined force evac­u­at­ed the wound­ed civil­ian to a near­by coali­tion med­ical facil­i­ty where he received med­ical treat­ment. The inci­dent is under review.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al insur­gents in Log­ar province while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban com­man­der who leads 40 fight­ers in attacks against Afghan offi­cials and coali­tion forces oper­at­ing in Log­ar. The com­man­der also is linked to a recent IED attack that killed four US sol­diers. “We will con­tin­ue to tar­get those respon­si­ble for the IED attacks that are killing Afghan civil­ians, as well as Afghan and coali­tion forces,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, the direc­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter. “This dan­ger­ous com­man­der was direct­ly involved in yesterday’s attack and we’ll do every­thing in our pow­er to bring him to jus­tice.” The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound in the vil­lage of Yusof Kheyl in Bara­ki Barak dis­trict to search the area. Afghan sol­diers used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the build­ings peace­ful­ly and then secured the area. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing on the scene, the assault force detained three insur­gents for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. The secu­ri­ty force also found a rock­et-pro­pelled-grenade launch­er with a round and mul­ti­ple auto­mat­ic weapons with ammu­ni­tion. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire their weapons and they pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

— Coali­tion forces came under heavy small-arms fire in the Musa Qal’ah dis­trict of Hel­mand province. The force iden­ti­fied the insur­gent fir­ing posi­tion and called for pre­ci­sion artillery fire and close-air sup­port. Two pre­ci­sion artillery rounds were fired at the ene­my posi­tion and a coali­tion air­craft employed a laser-guid­ed muni­tion and straf­ing to defeat the insur­gent attack. The coali­tion force observed all muni­tions strik­ing the tar­get­ed loca­tion. Fol­low­ing the inci­dent, the force con­duct­ed a bat­tle-dam­age assess­ment and found the bod­ies of one insur­gent and two female Afghan civil­ians. Two oth­er Afghan civil­ians were injured in the inci­dent. A joint Afghan and ISAF team will trav­el to Hel­mand to make an assess­ment of what occurred.

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

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