Afghanistan — Afghan Civilians Help Police Repel Taliban Attack

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