Afghanistan — Air Strike in Afghanistan Kills Senior Insurgents

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2010 — A senior mil­i­tant com­man­der in Afghanistan’s Kun­duz province and two of his top advi­sors were killed in a pre­ci­sion air strike in north­ern Kun­duz this morn­ing, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

The senior insur­gents were dri­ving through a rur­al desert area north­east of Kun­duz City when they were struck by pre­ci­sion air fire.

The senior Tal­iban com­man­der was involved in all aspects of insur­gent oper­a­tions in Kun­duz province, offi­cials said. He was respon­si­ble for set­ting tar­get pri­or­i­ties, weapons dis­tri­b­u­tion and direct­ing attacks against coali­tion and Afghan forces.

In oth­er recent oper­a­tions in Afghanistan:

— In Kan­da­har province this morn­ing, a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents for ques­tion­ing.

— In Hel­mand province’s Nad‑e Ali dis­trict yes­ter­day, a com­bined patrol found an assault rifle, mag­a­zines, 130 rounds of ammu­ni­tion and 30 pounds of home­made explo­sives.

— Coali­tion forces patrolling in the Dzad­ran dis­trict of Pak­tia province yes­ter­day found 17 rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, nine fus­es, four rear sta­bi­liz­ers and 300 heavy machine gun rounds. One indi­vid­ual was detained.

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed one mil­i­tant and detained a few oth­ers as they pur­sued a Tal­iban leader in Kun­duz the night of April 24. As the com­bined force approached a com­pound after intel­li­gence reports of mil­i­tant activ­i­ty, they were con­front­ed by an armed man, who was shot and killed.

— In Hel­mand on April 24, a com­bined force tried to stop a vehi­cle dri­ven by the sus­pect­ed mil­i­tants. The dri­ver did­n’t com­ply and tried to escape. Shots were exchanged, and three insur­gents were killed, includ­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der respon­si­ble for assign­ing fight­ers and set­ting attack pri­or­i­ties in his area and involved in weapons deliv­ery and bat­tle-dam­age assess­ments after attacks on coali­tion forces. A search of the vehi­cle uncov­ered an auto­mat­ic rifle and mul­ti­ple grenades.

— Also on April 24, an Afghan civil­ian direct­ed a com­bined patrol in Helmand’s Wash­er dis­trict to a cache con­tain­ing 25 pounds of refined opi­um, an assault rifle, sev­er­al mag­a­zines and a chest-bomb rig.

— In Helmand’s Nad‑e Ali dis­trict April 24, an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al patrol found and destroyed five 60 mm mor­tar rounds.

— A com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der and a sus­pect­ed insur­gent and killed sev­er­al oth­er insur­gents in Log­ar province April 24. As the assault force con­duct­ed a call-out, they were con­front­ed by armed men, who were shot and killed. The Tal­iban sub­com­man­der, believed to be involved in plan­ning sui­cide attacks, sur­ren­dered. A search of the area found sev­er­al weapons, includ­ing an auto­mat­ic rifle and pis­tols.

— In Kunduz’s Archi dis­trict the night of April 23, a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force was engaged with small-arms fire. The com­bined force returned fire, killing sev­er­al insur­gents and detain­ing a few oth­ers. Two of those killed were Tal­iban com­man­ders, one of them being the tar­get of the raid, who was respon­si­ble for dis­trib­ut­ing insur­gent funds, des­ig­nat­ing tar­gets and plan­ning bomb­ings. Though women and chil­dren were in the com­pound build­ings, none were injured dur­ing the oper­a­tion. The home­own­er told the patrol the Tal­iban had forced their way into the com­pound for the night. Inter­na­tion­al forces will reim­burse the home­own­er for minor dam­age to his prop­er­ty. A search of the build­ings yield­ed auto­mat­ic rifles, a machine gun, a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade, hand grenades and oth­er weapons.

— In Khost province April 24, a com­bined force detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent while hunt­ing for a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work com­man­der.

— In Helmand’s Nad‑e Ali dis­trict April 24, a com­bined patrol found two shot­guns, 40 pounds of opi­um, small-arms ammu­ni­tion and var­i­ous elec­tri­cal com­po­nents, as well as anoth­er cache con­sist­ing of two pres­sure plate ini­ti­a­tion devices 40 pounds of home­made explo­sives.

— One mil­i­tant was killed and sev­er­al oth­ers cap­tured by an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force pur­su­ing a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor in Ghazni province the night of April 22. As the force approached the tar­get­ed com­pound, sev­er­al men ran away. One insur­gent moved toward the secu­ri­ty force in a hos­tile man­ner and was shot and killed. Sev­er­al oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents were cap­tured.

— Also on the night of April 22, a com­bined force in Khost’s Terezai dis­trict cap­tured a Haqqani net­work bomb­ing-attack facil­i­ta­tor and anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent. Ammo­ni­um nitrate, alu­minum pow­der and rifles were found on site.

— In Kun­duz province’s Cha­har Darah dis­trict the night of April 22, a com­bined secu­ri­ty force detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent for ques­tion­ing. An armed man ran from the com­pound and lat­er fired on the secu­ri­ty force. He was shot and killed.

— In Nan­garhar province’s Khogyani dis­trict the night of April 22, a com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der respon­si­ble for direct­ing road­side-bomb and rock­et-pro­pelled grenade attacks on coali­tion forces, along with anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent.

— The same night in Helmand’s Reg‑e Khan Neshin dis­trict, a com­bined force found a road­side bomb, three road­side-bomb pow­er sources, five spools of cop­per wire, an intel­li­gence radio, two assault rifles with ammu­ni­tion, brass knuck­les and 88 pounds of raw opi­um. After coor­di­na­tion with the vil­lage elder, the com­bined force detained more than 20 men in the com­pound.

— In Helmand’s Garm Ser dis­trict that night, an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al patrol act­ing on a tip from an Afghan civil­ian found 50 chest rigs and 19 mag­a­zines.

— A com­bined patrol found nine grenades, four rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, small-arms ammu­ni­tion, home­made explo­sives, a timer and det­o­na­tion cord in the Chorah dis­trict of Uruz­gan province April 22.

–– A com­bined secu­ri­ty force in Log­ar province’s Pul‑e Alam dis­trict killed five insur­gents the night of April 22 after receiv­ing sus­tained heavy gun­fire from a com­pound. A search yield­ed mul­ti­ple auto­mat­ic rifles, armor-pierc­ing rounds, bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als and blast­ing caps. A Tal­iban sui­cide attack com­man­der with ties to the Haqqani net­work was killed in the fire­fight, along with four oth­er insur­gents.

Two U.S. ser­vice­mem­bers died of wounds suf­fered in the fire­fight.

No civil­ians were report­ed harmed in these oper­a­tions, offi­cials said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)