Afghanistan — Airstrike in Logar Province Kills Taliban Leader

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2011 — A coali­tion airstrike yes­ter­day in the Pol‑e Alam dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Log­ar province killed a Tal­iban logis­tics leader, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.
Abdul Bari facil­i­tat­ed weapons and vehi­cles on behalf of Tal­iban lead­ers and was direct­ly asso­ci­at­ed with lead­ers of the attack net­work in and around the Afghan cap­i­tal of Kab­ul, offi­cials said.

He also he col­lect­ed infor­ma­tion regard­ing coali­tion forces’ move­ments to be used in attack coor­di­na­tion, offi­cials added.

In oth­er oper­a­tions yes­ter­day:

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Tal­iban leader respon­si­ble for sui­cide attacks, along with two oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents, in Kan­da­har province’s Mai­wand dis­trict. He was respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing and con­duct­ing road­side-bomb attacks against coali­tion forces, and recent report­ing indi­cates he had start­ed build­ing a sui­cide vest for an upcom­ing attack, offi­cials said.

— In War­dak province’s Sayyid­abad dis­trict, Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a facil­i­ta­tor who man­u­fac­tures road­side bombs and teach­es oth­er Tal­iban insur­gents how to build them.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces in Kan­da­har province’s Spin Boldak dis­trict detained numer­ous sus­pect­ed insur­gents while search­ing for a Tal­iban leader respon­si­ble for plan­ning and exe­cut­ing attacks against coali­tion forces. The com­bined secu­ri­ty force recov­ered assault rifles, chest racks, a pres­sure plate, a road­side-bomb det­o­na­tion device, 35 blast­ing caps and ammu­ni­tion.

— In Khost province’s Sabari dis­trict, Afghan and coali­tion forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while search­ing for a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work facil­i­ta­tor who sup­plies mor­tars and heavy weapon­ry to Haqqani lead­ers for attacks on Afghan and coali­tion forces.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces act­ing on intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion in Nan­garhar province’s Sherzad dis­trict detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent while search­ing for a Tal­iban leader who plans and con­ducts attacks against coali­tion forces and was sub­or­di­nate to a recent­ly detained senior Tal­iban leader. The com­bined force found an assault rifle, a pis­tol, a chest rack, ammu­ni­tion and a large amount of mar­i­jua­na at the tar­get­ed com­pound.

In Jan. 22 oper­a­tions:

— An Afghan police patrol spot­ted an insur­gent plant­i­ng a road­side bomb in Kan­da­har province’s Kan­da­har dis­trict and killed him.

—An Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force patrol detained numer­ous sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Pak­ti­ka province’s Ziruk dis­trict. One of the detainees was the Taliban’s shad­ow gov­er­nor for the Zerok area and report­ed­ly was car­ry­ing a mil­lion Pak­istan rupees, equiv­a­lent to about $11,800.

— Act­ing on mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence reports and tips from local res­i­dents, patrols found weapons and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als in Uruz­gan, Hel­mand and Kan­da­har provinces. Among the items found were anti-per­son­nel mines, mor­tar rounds, anti-air­craft rounds, artillery rounds, med­ical sup­plies, small arms, bomb com­po­nents and red phos­pho­rus. A sus­pect­ed insur­gent was detained in con­nec­tion with the caches.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader for a road­side-bomb cell detained five sus­pect­ed in Farah province’s Khak‑e Safayd dis­trict. The tar­get­ed Tal­iban leader also is involved in intim­i­dat­ing and kid­nap­ping Afghans who do not sup­port the Tal­iban insur­gency, offi­cials said.

— In Ghazni province, Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ing a dis­trict Tal­iban leader who has direct con­nec­tions with Tal­iban lead­er­ship and shad­ow gov­er­nors in the area detained four sus­pect­ed insur­gents in the Muqer dis­trict. The dis­trict leader was involved with a com­plex sui­cide-bomber attack that killed four Afghan sol­diers and wound­ed sev­er­al oth­er Afghan secu­ri­ty forces mem­bers in Kab­ul on Dec. 19, offi­cials said.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Haqqani leader respon­si­ble for road­side-bomb attacks Khost province’s Tanai dis­trict, along with six oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents.

In Jan. 21 oper­a­tions:

— In Lagham province’s Qarghahi dis­trict, an ISAF air weapons team killed sev­er­al armed insur­gents after an ISAF patrol declared an immi­nent threat and called for air sup­port upon see­ing the insur­gents mov­ing in a fight­ing loca­tion that’s been used in the past.

— Two insur­gents plant­i­ng a road­side bomb in Hel­mand province’s Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­trict were killed when the device det­o­nat­ed.

— In Uruz­gan province’s Chorah dis­trict, Afghan police and an ISAF patrol found an assault rifle, three rock­et-pro­pelled grenade war­heads, four RPG boost­ers, 120 12.7 mm rounds, 60 14.5 mm rounds and loose ammu­ni­tion.

— An ISAF patrol found three mor­tar fus­es, home­made explo­sives and bomb-mak­ing com­po­nents in Log­ar province’s Bara­ki Barak dis­trict.

— In Hel­mand province’s Now Zad dis­trict, an Afghan police patrol found 16 82 mm recoil­less rifle rounds, 50 mor­tar fus­es and 54 cans of 7.62 mm rounds.

— Afghan civil­ians in Zab­ul province’s Qalat dis­trict brought 120 pounds of home­made explo­sives, two mines and 29 fus­es to Afghan gov­ern­ment secu­ri­ty offi­cials in the dis­trict.

On Jan. 21, Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ing a Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor killed numer­ous ene­my com­bat­ants and detained sev­er­al oth­ers in Khost province’s Sabari dis­trict. Recent reports indi­cate the man had mul­ti­ple weapons and road­side bombs that he planned to trans­port and store at anoth­er insurgent’s loca­tion, offi­cials said.

Intel­li­gence reports led the secu­ri­ty force to a com­pound where armed com­bat­ants shot at them with rock­et-pro­pelled grenades and machine guns. The secu­ri­ty force returned fire, killing sev­er­al attack­ers.

While the secu­ri­ty force was clear­ing one of the build­ings, sev­er­al women told them armed com­bat­ants were present. The secu­ri­ty force found two com­bat­ants who had been wound­ed in the ini­tial engage­ment, pro­vid­ed med­ical care to both, and evac­u­at­ed them for fur­ther treat­ment.

After the com­pound was secure, secu­ri­ty forces dis­cov­ered that an Afghan child had been killed and two women and a child were wound­ed dur­ing the five-hour engage­ment. The coali­tion med­ical tech­ni­cian pro­vid­ed on-scene med­ical atten­tion for the women and child.

“Afghan and coali­tion forces take every pre­cau­tion to ensure the safe­ty and secu­ri­ty of the Afghan peo­ple dur­ing secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions. The insur­gents fired on Afghan and coali­tion forces in the vicin­i­ty of civil­ians, includ­ing women and chil­dren, with­out regard to their safe­ty,” said Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, ISAF Joint Command’s com­bined joint oper­a­tions cen­ter direc­tor. “ISAF’s thoughts and con­cerns are with the fam­i­ly of the child, and we hope the two injured women and child recov­er quick­ly.”

After the com­pound was secure, numer­ous sus­pect­ed com­bat­ants were detained. Secu­ri­ty forces recov­ered a machine gun, mul­ti­ple RPGs and launch­ers, numer­ous assault rifles, chest racks, a sui­cide vest, a road­side bomb and ammu­ni­tion from the scene. Afghan sol­diers met with local offi­cials to explain the pur­pose of the mis­sion and allay con­cerns.

In oth­er Jan. 21 oper­a­tions:

— In Ghazni province, Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader for the province’s Gelan dis­trict detained four sus­pect­ed insur­gents. The tar­get­ed man and the insur­gents he leads attack Afghan and coali­tion forces with road­side bombs and direct and indi­rect fires, offi­cials said, and tar­get air­craft with heavy machine guns.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Tal­iban leader along with anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent in Zab­ul province’s Qalat dis­trict. The Tal­iban leader was respon­si­ble for the move­ment of bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als and plant­ed road­side bombs tar­get­ing coali­tion vehi­cles along High­way 1, which con­nects many of south­ern Afghanistan’s provinces.

— Coali­tion forces tar­get­ing the Taliban’s shad­ow gov­er­nor for, Lagh­man province’s His­arak dis­trict killed more than 10 insur­gents with two pre­ci­sion airstrikes. The tar­get­ed Tal­iban leader has attacked Afghan gov­ern­ment offi­cials and coali­tion forces, offi­cials said, and recent reports indi­cate he has acquired bomb com­po­nents, machine guns and rock­ets for future attacks.

ISAF offi­cials lat­er con­firmed that the shad­ow gov­er­nor, Maulawi Anwar, was among the insur­gents killed.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor who oper­ates in Log­ar and Pak­tia provinces dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Log­ar province’s Pul‑e Alam dis­trict. The Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor oper­at­ed in both Logar’s Pul‑e Alam dis­trict and Paktia’s Gardez dis­trict, where he dis­trib­utes equip­ment to Tal­iban insur­gents, offi­cials said, and recent reports indi­cate he planned to pro­vide anoth­er Tal­iban insur­gent with bomb com­po­nents.

In oth­er news, an Afghan civil­ian turned in 19 82 mm mor­tar rounds, 12 81 mm mor­tar rounds, bomb-mak­ing chem­i­cals and pro­pel­lant for rock­ets to an ISAF for­ward oper­at­ing base in Kapisa province’s Tagab dis­trict Jan. 20, and ISAF Joint Com­mand offi­cials report­ed sev­er­al recent inci­dents in which insur­gents killed and wound­ed Afghan civil­ians:

— Two Afghan chil­dren were killed and four oth­ers were wound­ed in Hel­mand province’s Nahr‑e Saraj dis­trict yes­ter­day when insur­gent indi­rect-fire rounds struck an area where vil­lagers were con­gre­gat­ed, killing one child and wound­ing five oth­ers. U.S. Spe­cial Forces coor­di­nat­ed imme­di­ate evac­u­a­tion of the injured chil­dren. Insur­gents con­tin­ued fir­ing when heli­copters arrived to trans­port the wound­ed chil­dren to a hos­pi­tal. An air weapons team pro­vid­ed secu­ri­ty sup­port for the med­ical evac­u­a­tion, and one of the chil­dren died after arriv­ing at the hos­pi­tal.

— In Badghis province’s Qades dis­trict yes­ter­day, vil­lagers noti­fied Afghan and ISAF forces, and spe­cial oper­a­tions forces con­firmed, that an Afghan boy was shot and killed by insur­gents.

— In Ghazni province’s Muqer dis­trict Jan. 22, a com­bined coali­tion and Afghan patrol was attacked by insur­gents with mor­tar rounds and rock­et-pro­pelled grenades. The insur­gent fire hit Afghan civil­ians in the near­by Yarbi Kala vil­lage. After gain­ing pos­i­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, the com­bined patrol returned fire and imme­di­ate­ly secured the site, ren­der­ing first aid to the injured. The insur­gents fled after their rounds hit the vil­lage.

A Jan. 21 acci­dent claimed the life of an Afghan woman, who was struck by a vehi­cle dur­ing an ISAF patrol in Her­at province. The con­voy stopped, and the woman was tak­en to a med­ical treat­ment facil­i­ty, where she died.

“This is a deeply regret­table acci­dent,” said Air Force Col. Charles Top­likar, ISAF Joint Com­mand com­bined joint oper­a­tions cen­ter direc­tor. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her fam­i­ly at this dif­fi­cult time.”

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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