WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2010 — Afghan and coalition forces continued to target Taliban leaders and members of other insurgent groups in recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.
Afghan and coalition security forces captured several Haqqani terrorist network members and several Taliban leaders, including a dual-hatted Taliban subcommander and al-Qaida group leader during 36 separate operations this week, officials said, adding that more than 83 percent of the operations were conducted without shots being fired due to measures taken to avoid civilian casualties.
The Afghan-led operations resulted in more than 110 suspected insurgents detained and more than 20 insurgents killed.
Afghan civilians in Kunduz province witnessed Taliban insurgents attacking a police station in the Aliabad district. After the insurgents fled, an air weapons team engaged after they determined no civilians were in the area. International Security Assistance Force officials confirmed the engagement killed Abu Baqir, a dual-hatted Taliban subcommander and al-Qaida group leader.
Later that day, Afghan and coalition security forces struck at the Taliban leadership connected to bomb-attack networks and attack planning in two eastern Afghanistan provinces. Security forces captured a Taliban subcommander in Paktika’s Mota Khan district. Just north in Logar, a separate security force captured a Taliban facilitator. Both Taliban figures provided materials and planned attacks against Afghan civilian and Afghan and coalition forces.
A combined security force discovered and destroyed a large Taliban weapons cache in Kandahar province the night of Aug. 17. The ensuing firefight resulted in 10 insurgents killed. Afghan-led forces also targeted the Haqqani network in eastern Afghanistan this week. Over the past three days, the security force captured a Haqqani facilitator in Khost and a Haqqani subcommander in Paktia. Both Haqqani leaders are involved in the logistics of bombing attacks. In other recent operations:
— An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Zabul province yesterday while in pursuit of a Taliban commander who leads one of the primary bomb-attack cells in Mizan district and also is involved in intimidation campaigns against Afghan civilians who allow their children to attend school. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children for the duration of the search.
— In Logar province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted operations while in pursuit of a Taliban commander associated with the Kabul attack network. The commander formerly held several Taliban positions, including deputy shadow governor, military commander and intelligence chief for Logar. During the operation, 12 Taliban insurgents, including the Taliban commander, were killed after intelligence sources observed a large gathering of Taliban insurgents in the Pul‑e Alam district preparing to conduct an attack against coalition forces. After ensuring no civilians were present, an air weapons team engaged the group, killing nine insurgents. Coalition forces then conducted a precision air strike and air assault on the objective location, killing three more insurgents and destroying a large weapons cache that included rockets, mines, bomb-making materials and various types of ammunition.
— An Afghan and coalition security force pursued several Jamaat ul Dawa al-Quran commanders responsible for planning and conducting attacks and propaganda campaigns in Kunar province yesterday. The Jamaat ul Dawa al-Quran is a fundamentalist Islamic group that differs from the Taliban in their belief that followers should strictly abide by the Hadith and Quran texts and not rely on a cleric to interpret them, as the Taliban does. Several insurgents were detained, and three insurgents were killed. After questioning all the residents of a compound, the security force detained suspected insurgents without incident. As the assault force moved on the final targeted compound, several armed insurgents engaged the assault force by throwing grenades and firing their assault rifles. The security force returned fire, killing three insurgents.
— Also yesterday, coalition forces located and seized a weapons cache in Kabul province’s Shakar Darah district. Intelligence sources and tips from Afghan civilians led coalition forces to the cache location. The operation recovered two 107 mm rockets, 20 82 mm mortars, six fuses and about 7 pounds of homemade explosives, which were taken to a local range for destruction.
In other news from Afghanistan, the chief of police for the Daman district of Kandahar province was among 13 Afghan police officers and civilians killed and wounded in an insurgent vehicle-borne bombing attack yesterday.
According to reports, the insurgent pulled alongside the police chief’s vehicle while traveling toward Kandahar City and detonated the explosives-laden vehicle. Four Afghan police officers and four civilians were wounded in the attack.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases