Afghanistan — Air Strike Kills Operative Planning Pre-election Attacks

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2010 — A coali­tion air strike last night killed a senior ene­my com­man­der involved in bomb­ing attacks in Afghanistan’s cap­i­tal of Kab­ul, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Intel­li­gence sources had been track­ing Nur Moham­mad for weeks, offi­cials said, and he was plan­ning attacks lead­ing up to Afghanistan’s Sept. 18 par­lia­men­tary elections. 

“This was a very suc­cess­ful strike which stopped a very dan­ger­ous indi­vid­ual from con­duct­ing fur­ther attacks against Afghan civil­ians and Afghan and coali­tion forces,” said Air Force Col. James Dawkins, direc­tor of Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Command’s Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter. “The Afghan peo­ple deserve to cast their votes with­out fear of attacks from the insur­gent groups. We are con­tin­u­ous­ly track­ing them and tak­ing action before they’re able to car­ry out their plans.” 

Intel­li­gence sources tracked Nur Mohammed and two armed insur­gents to a field in Kab­ul province’s remote Musahi dis­trict. After care­ful plan­ning to ensure no civil­ians were present, coali­tion air­craft con­duct­ed a pre­ci­sion air strike on the insurgents. 

A fol­low-on ground secu­ri­ty force con­firmed that Nur Moham­mad and his two asso­ciates were dead. The secu­ri­ty force also found auto­mat­ic weapons, grenades and bomb-mak­ing materials. 

In oth­er news from Afghanistan, an Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained eight sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Zab­ul province yes­ter­day while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban com­man­der oper­at­ing in the province’s Qalat and Shah Joy dis­tricts. The com­man­der directs, facil­i­tates and per­son­al­ly con­ducts road­side-bomb attacks on High­way 1, a major route used by civil­ians. Afghan and coali­tion forces did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search. 

In Kan­da­har province yes­ter­day, Afghan and coali­tion forces detained five insur­gents, includ­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der oper­at­ing in the Arghandab dis­trict and Kan­da­har City. The com­man­der orches­trat­ed and ordered attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces and prof­it­ed from weapons traf­fick­ing in the region. 

The secu­ri­ty force also found weapons, pis­tol belts, mag­a­zines and body armor. They did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search. Afghan and coali­tion forces in Pak­tia province detained three insur­gents yes­ter­day, includ­ing a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor for small and medi­um weapons and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als. The com­man­der was also involved in coor­di­nat­ing future attacks in the province. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search. 

Also yes­ter­day, Afghan and coali­tion forces in Khost province detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while in pur­suit of a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work facil­i­ta­tor respon­si­ble for plan­ning and exe­cut­ing indi­rect-fire and bomb­ing attacks in the Sabari and Musa Khel dis­tricts. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search. 

Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces con­duct­ed more than 40 oper­a­tions in 12 Afghan provinces in the past week, offi­cials said, lead­ing to the cap­ture of dozens of com­man­ders, facil­i­ta­tors and com­mis­sion­ers for the Tal­iban and Haqqani networks. 

Clear rules of engage­ment and extreme mea­sures tak­en to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties result­ed in more than 85 per­cent of the oper­a­tions con­duct­ed with­out shots fired. Afghan-led oper­a­tions result­ed in more than 20 tar­get­ed indi­vid­u­als cap­tured and three killed. 

In the north, a Tal­iban com­mis­sion­er for six Takhar province dis­tricts was cap­tured in the Dar­quad dis­trict Sept. 4. The com­mis­sion­er facil­i­tat­ed for­eign fight­er sui­cide bombers while lead­ing attacks against Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces in the province. Addi­tion­al­ly, the secu­ri­ty force killed Attal­lah, the Tal­iban dis­trict com­man­der for Dar­quad dur­ing the same operation. 

In the bor­der­ing provinces of Khost and Nan­garhar, secu­ri­ty forces tar­get­ed sev­er­al insur­gent lead­ers, oper­a­tives and facil­i­ta­tors. Through­out the week, the assault force detained three Haqqani net­work lead­ers and killed Hazrat Muham­mad, a Tal­iban com­man­der who con­duct­ed attacks in Nan­garhar. Two addi­tion­al Tal­iban com­man­ders were also detained. 

In oth­er east­ern provinces, sep­a­rate assault forces cap­tured a Tal­iban bomb-attack oper­a­tive, facil­i­ta­tor and sub­com­man­der, sig­nif­i­cant­ly degrad­ing the net­works in the region, offi­cials said. 

Assault forces in the south over the past week cap­tured eight Tal­iban com­man­ders and facil­i­ta­tors in Kan­da­har, Hel­mand and Zab­ul provinces. In Kan­da­har province alone, six Tal­iban lead­ers were detained, includ­ing the deputy dis­trict com­man­der for Dand. 

Source:
Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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