Afghanistan — Afghan, Coalition Forces Engage Enemy in Nangarhar

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

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