WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2010 — Combined Afghan and coalition security forces conducted operations across Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province yesterday, military officials reported.
A security force approaching a compound in the province’s Sherzad district to search for a Taliban commander took small-arms fire from three locations around the targeted area. The security force returned fire, killing several insurgents.
During the firefight, a vehicle attempted to approach the compound. To avoid civilian casualties, the assault force employed “hi-beam,” a light shone from an aircraft overhead, to alert the vehicle of their presence. The vehicle stopped short of the compound.
After the fighting ceased, the assault force searched the area and found 10 rocket-propelled grenades, multiple automatic weapons, grenades and a recoilless rifle. The weapons were destroyed at the scene.
As the security force departed the area, they continued to be engaged from several different directions. An air weapons team provided cover fire, and no Afghan or coalition forces were hurt in the operation.
International Security Assistance Force officials said they are investigating civilian casualty allegations as a result of these operations.
“We take allegations of civilian casualties seriously,” said Army Col. Rafeal Torres, director of ISAF Joint Command’s combined joint operations center. “We’re investigating to find out what happened.”
In other operations yesterday:
— A combined Afghan-coalition security force detained several suspected Taliban insurgents, including the Taliban military commander for the Sarkar area of Nahr‑e Saraj district in Helmand province.
— An Afghan and coalition security force killed two insurgents, including Sabayar Saheb, a Taliban logistics and foreign fighter facilitator, and detained several suspected insurgents in Farah province. The security force targeted Saheb as he traveled on a motorcycle in Pusht‑e Rod district. An air weapons team used containment fires to force him to stop. When he did stop, Saheb purposefully fell off his motorcycle and pretended to be dead. As the security force approached, he showed hostile intent and was killed. The security force found an assault rifle and Iranian money at the scene.
— At a separate location, the assault force pursued another Taliban facilitator. An air weapons team used containment fires to stop a vehicle suspected of containing the targeted individual. A ground force approached the vehicle, and Afghan forces called for all occupants to exit peacefully. Several occupants complied with the Afghan forces’ commands, but the driver of the vehicle aggressively moved toward the security force and was killed when he reached for his pistol. The security force detained the other occupants for further questioning. Multiple automatic weapons and a large amount of Iranian money were found in the vehicle.
— An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Helmand province during their continued pursuit of the Taliban deputy commander of the Lashkar Gah district, who commands more than 100 fighters. The security force targeted a compound in the Nahr‑e Saraj district to search for the commander. After questioning all of the residents, the security force detained several suspected insurgents for further questioning. The assault force found an assault rifle with several magazines along with Pakistani money at the scene.
— In Khost province’s Terayzai district, an Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in while in pursuit of a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator directly responsible for distributing weapons and bomb-making materials to foreign fighters and Haqqani-affiliated networks.
In other news from Afghanistan, two Afghan civilians, including a child, were killed and one civilian wounded in insurgent bomb attacks in Helmand and Uruzgan provinces yesterday. One civilian was killed and another was wounded when insurgents detonated a bomb in the Deh Rawud bazaar in Uruzgan. Jan Mohammad, former governor of Uruzgan and current tribal affairs advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was the target of the insurgents’ attack, officials said.
In Helmand’s Musa Qalah district, an Afghan child was killed in an insurgent bomb explosion.
ISAF officials said more than 600 civilians have been killed and more than 1,400 have been wounded by insurgents this year.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases