Afghanistan — Airstrike in Helmand Kills 7 Insurgents

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2010 — An Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force airstrike tar­get­ing a dis­trict-lev­el Tal­iban com­mand and con­trol cen­ter in the Now Zad dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Hel­mand province today left sev­en insur­gents dead, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence sources, sur­veil­lance and tips from local res­i­dents indi­cat­ed that the Tal­iban were using the loca­tion to con­trol insur­gent activ­i­ties and as a meet­ing site, offi­cials said, with numer­ous armed insur­gents com­ing and going over the last few days, offi­cials said. 

Ini­tial reports indi­cate no civil­ians were harmed in the operation. 

In oth­er news from Afghanistan: 

— An ISAF airstrike based on intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion tar­get­ed numer­ous armed insur­gents plant­i­ng bombs along a road used by Afghan and coali­tion forces in Kun­duz province’s Cha­har Darah dis­trict yes­ter­day. After ensur­ing no civil­ians were near­by, ISAF con­duct­ed the air strike. An assess­ment deter­mined four insur­gents were killed, anoth­er was wound­ed, and the road­side bombs were destroyed. 

— Three insur­gents were killed and two oth­ers were wound­ed yes­ter­day when ISAF forces tar­get­ed a senior Tal­iban leader who facil­i­tates road­side bombs and com­po­nents for local insur­gents dur­ing an airstrike in Helmand’s Now Zad dis­trict yes­ter­day. The tar­get­ed Tal­iban leader also directs and par­tic­i­pates in attacks against Afghan and ISAF forces, offi­cials said, and he also is alleged to pre­side over a shad­ow civ­il court in the dis­trict. Mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence sources, tips from local res­i­dents led ISAF forces to his loca­tion. Over suc­ces­sive days of obser­va­tion, the Tal­iban leader was tar­get­ed as he was meet­ing a group of armed insur­gents at a remote meet­ing loca­tion. Offi­cials are assess­ing whether the Tal­iban leader was among those killed in the strike. Ini­tial reports indi­cate no civil­ians were harmed in the operation. 

ISAF offi­cials con­firmed that Mamur, a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor known to pro­vide weapons and explo­sives to Tal­iban senior lead­er­ship in Kab­ul and Nan­garhar provinces was killed dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion Nov. 10. 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ists in Kan­da­har province’s Pan­jwai dis­trict as they tar­get­ed a Tal­iban road­side-bomb facil­i­ta­tor who is known to coor­di­nate the move­ment of weapons and bomb components. 

— In Helmand’s Musa Qalah dis­trict, a com­bined Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ing a senior Tal­iban dis­trict leader who coor­di­nates weapons and bomb com­po­nents for insur­gents oper­at­ing in the province’s San­gin dis­trict detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insurgents. 

— In east­ern Khost province yes­ter­day, secu­ri­ty forces tar­get­ed a com­pound in the Sabari dis­trict to search for a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work facil­i­ta­tor who sup­plies weapons, vehi­cles and mate­ri­als to insur­gent fight­ers in the area. Dur­ing the search of the tar­get­ed com­pound, the secu­ri­ty force found an auto­mat­ic weapon and explo­sive mate­r­i­al before detain­ing numer­ous sus­pect­ed insur­gents for questioning. 

ISAF offi­cials con­firmed the cap­ture of two Tal­iban road­side-bomb facil­i­ta­tors in Kan­da­har province’s Spin Boldak dis­trict dur­ing an intel­li­gence-dri­ven Afghan and coali­tion force oper­a­tion yesterday. 

— A com­bined Afghan and ISAF patrol repelled an insur­gent attack yes­ter­day in Helmand’s San­gin dis­trict. The patrol came under attack from small-arms fire short­ly after a mem­ber of the patrol was struck by makeshift bomb device. The force pos­i­tive­ly iden­ti­fied mul­ti­ple insur­gent fir­ing posi­tions and returned fire with small arms and grenades while try­ing to evac­u­ate casu­al­ties by heli­copter. An air weapons team engaged an insur­gent posi­tion with a mis­sile and its 30 mm can­non, and a fixed-wing air­craft engaged insur­gent posi­tions with a pre­ci­sion-guid­ed weapon and sev­er­al straf­ing pass­es. Coali­tion forces also engaged insur­gent posi­tions with two rounds of pre­ci­sion artillery. Ini­tial reports indi­cate 15 insur­gents were killed in the engage­ment, with no civil­ian casualties. 

ISAF offi­cials con­firmed the cap­ture of the Tal­iban leader for Farah province’s Bala Boluk dis­trict dur­ing a Nov. 8 operation. 

— Coali­tion forces con­duct­ed a pre­ci­sion airstrike in Pak­tia province Nov. 10, killing a Tal­iban leader who oper­at­ed in the Zur­mat dis­trict com­mand­ing a cell of fight­ers involved in facil­i­tat­ing and plant­i­ng road­side bombs on trans­porta­tion routes. He also coor­di­nat­ed and con­duct­ed recon­nais­sance and ambush­es against coali­tion con­voys and air­craft. Based on intel­li­gence sources, coali­tion forces tracked him to a remote area and killed him with the airstrike after ver­i­fy­ing insur­gent activ­i­ty and care­ful­ly plan­ning to avoid civil­ian causalities. 

— In Kan­da­har province, Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces detained two sus­pect­ed Tal­iban insur­gents yes­ter­day while search­ing for a Tal­iban road­side-bomb facil­i­ta­tor for the province’s Spin Boldak dis­trict in an intel­li­gence-dri­ven oper­a­tion. The facil­i­ta­tor is asso­ci­at­ed with trans­port­ing bombs and com­po­nents from Pak­istan through the Spin Boldak dis­trict, which bor­ders Pak­istan, for dis­tri­b­u­tion through­out the province. He also is known to sup­port the attack net­works in the provin­cial cap­i­tal. Secu­ri­ty forces con­fis­cat­ed numer­ous bomb components. 

— Afghan civil­ians led an Afghan and ISAF patrol to a road­side-bomb device cache in Kun­duz province’s Ali­abad dis­trict Nov. 8. The cache was secured and destroyed safe­ly in place. Afghan and coali­tion forces pro­tect any women and chil­dren present dur­ing their oper­a­tions, offi­cials said. 

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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