WASHINGTON, June 16, 2010 — Afghan civilians helped police to repel an attack by an estimated 50 Taliban fighters against a police checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Daykundi province June 14, military officials reported.
Ten national police officers manning a checkpoint in Kajran came under heavy small-arms and rocket fire just after noon and called for support.
About 250 civilians gathered with personal assault rifles and, along with police reinforcements and International Security Assistance Force aircraft, forced the Taliban fighters to retreat.
U.S. Special Forces soldiers responded and provided medical aid to injured Afghan policemen at the request of the Kajran district security manager. Two of the policemen died of their wounds.
This is the second time this year that residents of Daykundi province have fought the Taliban, officials said. On April 21, residents of Gizab captured several Taliban fighters, and when nearly a dozen insurgents retaliated by attacking the town, the town’s local defense force, supported by coalition aircraft, repelled the attack.
In other news, Afghan forces working with international partners recently conducted a large-scale operation against Taliban insurgents in the Shah Wali Kot district, north of Kandahar City in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, officials said.
The intent of this operation, officials said, was to disrupt a key insurgent haven from which attacks against Afghan communities and coalition forces were planned and executed.
The five-day operation saw heavy fighting, with one period of nonstop, close-quarter combat lasting the entire day and resulting in the death of a significant number of insurgents, officials reported, adding that the operation dealt a major blow to more than 100 insurgents and their commanders.
After days of intense operations, the combined force succeeded in taking all key positions in the region and forcing the remaining insurgents to flee the area. Afghan leaders from the combined force then met with members of the local community to plan ways the Afghan government could assist them in keeping the Taliban out.
A member of the combined force said the local population was grateful to the Afghan and international forces for pushing out the insurgents who had levied heavy taxes on residents, occupied their villages and forced them to provide food and shelter to the Taliban.
No civilians were injured in this operation, officials said.
In other news from Afghanistan:
— A combined Afghan-international force detained several suspected insurgents in Kandahar province last night while pursuing a Taliban commander responsible for suicide attacks against Afghan and international forces in Kandahar City. The combined force found bomb-making materials and automatic rifles during the operation.
— Another Afghan-international force detained a number of suspected insurgents while pursuing a Taliban commander in Helmand province’s Washer district last night. Several insurgents fled and tried to hide in a civilian residence when the combined force arrived, but they were apprehended peacefully. No shots were fired, and women and children present during the search were protected by the combined force. More than 60 pounds of wet opium was found during a search.
— Afghan and international forces detained two people suspected of insurgent activity in Helmand’s Trek Nawa district the night of June 13. The operation was designed to disrupt Taliban leadership in Marja responsible for planning and conducting attacks against Afghan and international forces, and for the funding and purchasing of weapons for Taliban fighters. After surrounding the insurgents’ compound, Afghan special police ensured all residents exited safely. Several women and children were protected, no shots were fired and no civilians were injured in the operation.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases