Afghanistan — Allegations of Civilian Casualty in Logar Province Are False

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2010 — The Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan was made aware today of alle­ga­tions in the media regard­ing a civil­ian casu­al­ty inci­dent in the vicin­i­ty of Charkh dis­trict, Log­ar province, accord­ing to mil­i­tary offi­cials.

After con­duct­ing a thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion of the alleged attack on Afghan civil­ians, Region­al Com­mand-East offi­cials have deter­mined the alle­ga­tion is false. 

“None of our oper­a­tional report­ing sup­ports this unfound­ed claim,” said U.S. Army Maj. Patrick R. Seiber, the pub­lic affairs direc­tor of RC-East. 

In oth­er recent Afghanistan news: 

ISAF offi­cials report that Tal­iban intim­i­da­tion and bru­tal­i­ty against the Afghan pop­u­la­tion has increased in recent weeks. Accord­ing to ISAF records for July 2010, Tal­iban insur­gents have been respon­si­ble for at least 95 civil­ian deaths and the wound­ing of more than 235 people. 

ISAF’s infor­ma­tion sys­tems and oper­a­tional report­ing allow us to track detailed infor­ma­tion regard­ing insur­gent bru­tal­i­ty and intim­i­da­tion,” said Ger­man Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, ISAF spokesper­son. “Sev­er­al recent events show that the Tal­iban have aban­doned any pre­tense of car­ing for Afghan civil­ians. Their actions show they are will­ing to harm any­one to return to power. 

“Rather than intim­i­dat­ing cit­i­zens,” Blotz said, “the mur­ders and crim­i­nal acts of the Tal­iban are bring­ing cit­i­zens clos­er together.” 

Mean­while, ISAF offi­cials said, part­nered Afghan and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty forces’ actions con­tin­ue to deny the insur­gents any sig­nif­i­cant oper­a­tional successes. 

— Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents and killed one in Log­ar province dur­ing offen­sive clear­ing oper­a­tions over the last 24 hours. Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces tar­get­ed sev­er­al areas sus­pect­ed of insur­gent activ­i­ty in the Charkh and Bara­ki Barak dis­tricts of Log­ar province. In Charkh dis­trict sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents were detained after the assault force dis­cov­ered and destroyed a cache of mul­ti­ple grenades and auto­mat­ic weapons. At anoth­er loca­tion in the dis­trict, the secu­ri­ty force killed one man armed with an AK-47 after he attempt­ed to engage the force. A sep­a­rate Afghan-led secu­ri­ty force cleared and secured sev­er­al com­pounds west of Aladad Kheyl in Bara­ki Barak and detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents after ques­tion­ing res­i­dents. The women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out all of the search­es. In yesterday’s Afghanistan news: 

— Insur­gents killed six Afghan civil­ians, wound­ed two more and kid­napped an Afghan gov­ern­ment offi­cial in the Siah­gird dis­trict of Par­wan province. The insur­gents attacked vehi­cles car­ry­ing work­ers from an Afghan con­struc­tion com­pa­ny with small-arms fire. Afghan Nation­al Police respond­ed to the attack and forced the insur­gents to flee. Dur­ing their retreat, the insur­gents kid­napped the attor­ney gen­er­al for the district. 

“These insur­gents have cho­sen to fol­low Mul­lah Omar’s recent guid­ance of attempt­ing to cap­ture or kill inno­cent civil­ians who are work­ing for the coali­tion or gov­ern­ment,” said Col. Rafael Tor­res, ISAF Joint Command’s Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter direc­tor. “Mean­while, Omar is direct­ing these attacks from the rel­a­tive safe­ty of his hid­ing place in Pakistan. 

“The insur­gents are attempt­ing to deny Afghans of their oppor­tu­ni­ty to improve gov­ern­ment capac­i­ty and pro­mote eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, Tor­res con­tin­ued. “We will con­tin­ue to work with our Afghan part­ners to seek out the insur­gents respon­si­ble for these heinous acts.” 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Hel­mand last night while in pur­suit of a senior Tal­iban com­man­der and mem­ber of the Nawa Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion who’s linked to deci­sions involv­ing mil­i­tary oper­a­tions and mat­ters of gov­er­nance with­in the Tal­iban-con­trolled areas of Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­trict. The joint secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a remote com­pound south in Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­trict and Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to peace­ful­ly exit the build­ings. After ques­tion­ing all the res­i­dents, sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents were detained for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. Approx­i­mate­ly 15 pounds of black tar hero­in, ille­gal in any amount under Afghan law, was found at the scene. No shots were fired and the women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the search. 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force con­duct­ed mul­ti­ple pre­ci­sion strikes in Pak­tiya province tar­get­ing the senior Haqqani Net­work com­man­der for Khost-Gardez pass respon­si­ble for the over­all com­mand and con­trol of all Haqqani and for­eign fight­er camps in the area. Afghan and coali­tion forces are still gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion to con­firm the commander’s death. The Haqqani com­man­der is linked to attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces and is said to be in reg­u­lar con­tact with top Haqqani lead­ers sit­u­at­ed across the bor­der in Pak­istan. After ver­i­fy­ing insur­gent activ­i­ty and con­duct­ing an exhaus­tive review to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties and mit­i­gate col­lat­er­al dam­age, a pre­ci­sion air strike was called to hit a bunker com­plex in a remote area of Dzad­ran dis­trict of Pak­tiya province where intel­li­gence sources report­ed the com­man­der to be hid­ing. The near­est pop­u­lat­ed area was more than a kilo­me­ter away and there are no reports of civil­ian casu­al­ties as a result of this strike. 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Kan­da­har while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban mil­i­tary com­man­der who tar­gets Afghan civil­ians work­ing with coali­tion forces. The com­man­der is also linked to sui­cide attacks against Afghan civil­ians through­out Kan­da­har province. The secu­ri­ty force sur­round­ed the tar­get­ed com­pound south of Bala Dehe Sufla in Pan­jwa’i dis­trict. All the occu­pants com­plied with the instruc­tions pro­vid­ed by the Afghan forces using a loud­speak­er. The sus­pect­ed insur­gents were detained for fur­ther ques­tion­ing after all the res­i­dents were inter­viewed. No shots were fired and the women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the search. 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der and sev­er­al addi­tion­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Pak­ti­ka province. The sub­com­man­der, who oper­at­ed main­ly in Mota Khan, con­duct­ed impro­vised explo­sive device attacks against coali­tion con­voys and obtained explo­sives for his net­work. The secu­ri­ty force sur­round­ed the tar­get­ed com­pound east of Sha­ran and Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to peace­ful­ly exit the build­ings. Sev­er­al men attempt­ed to dis­guise them­selves by dress­ing in female attire before exit­ing the com­pound. How­ev­er, they were imme­di­ate­ly iden­ti­fied and detained for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. The sub­com­man­der and sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents were detained. The assault force dis­cov­ered auto­mat­ic weapons, ammu­ni­tion, mag­a­zines and a bay­o­net, along with IED mate­r­i­al, includ­ing 31 pres­sures switch­es and mul­ti­ple pres­sure plates. A bag con­tain­ing Pak­istani, Afghani and Amer­i­can cash was also found at the scene. No shots were fired and the women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the search. In July 25 Afghanistan news: 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces recov­ered the remains of a miss­ing ISAF ser­vice­mem­ber in east­ern Afghanistan after an exten­sive search, ISAF offi­cials said. Afghan and coali­tion forces launched an exten­sive search-and-recov­ery oper­a­tion when two ser­vice­mem­bers failed to report to their des­ti­na­tion July 23. Search efforts will con­tin­ue until the oth­er miss­ing ser­vice­mem­ber is found. The ISAF holds the cap­tors account­able for the safe­ty and prop­er treat­ment of the miss­ing ser­vice­mem­ber, offi­cials said. In July 24 Afghanistan news: 

— Four Afghan civil­ians were injured by two sep­a­rate IED attacks in Badghis province. ISAF medics respond­ed to the inci­dents. Accord­ing to ini­tial reports a civil­ian was injured by an IED in the Bala Murghab dis­trict. He was imme­di­ate­ly brought to the sur­gi­cal team at for­ward oper­at­ing base Todd-Colum­bus for emer­gency care where he was sta­bi­lized and air­lift­ed to the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal at Camp Zafar for fur­ther treat­ment. The sec­ond IED blast, which injured three more civil­ians, occurred near Dar­reh Ye Bum. ISAF forces in Bala Murghab pro­vid­ed med­ical care and evac­u­at­ed the injured to an ISAF med­ical facility. 

“These events demon­strate the com­plete dis­re­gard that insur­gents have for the lives of Afghan peo­ple,” said Tor­res, the ISAF Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter direc­tor. “Insur­gents delib­er­ate­ly tar­get civil­ians with sui­cide attacks and IEDs, with no regard for Afghan lives. 

“Elim­i­nat­ing mil­i­tant IED oper­a­tions is a key focus of ISAF,” Tor­res con­tin­ued. “The high­ly indis­crim­i­nate nature of IEDs makes them a threat not only to Afghanistan’s secu­ri­ty forces and ISAF, but also to inno­cent Afghan civilians.” 

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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