Afghanistan — Coalition Airstrike Targets Taliban Leader

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2011 — A coali­tion airstrike tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader killed two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Afghanistan’s Zab­ul province’s Tarnek wa Jal­dak dis­trict today, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.
NATO Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force offi­cials still are gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion to con­firm if the Tal­iban leader — respon­si­ble for road­side bomb and direct-fire attacks, kid­nap­pings and assas­si­na­tions along High­way 1 — was killed.

Forces tracked the Tal­iban leader based on recent intel­li­gence reports indi­cat­ing he is plan­ning mul­ti­ple attacks against Afghan civil­ians and coali­tion forces, offi­cials said, not­ing that he is involved in the coor­di­na­tion of weapons move­ment and place­ment to sup­port such attacks.

In oper­a­tions yes­ter­day:

— Afghan and coali­tion forces killed Tofan, a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work leader, and anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent with an intel­li­gence-dri­ven pre­ci­sion airstrike in Khost province’s Sabari dis­trict. Tofan facil­i­tat­ed the move­ment of road­side bombs from Pak­istan to insur­gent groups oper­at­ing in the area and recent­ly assumed a lead­er­ship posi­tion, offi­cials said. A fol­low-on secu­ri­ty force con­firmed Tofan and anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent were killed, and also recov­ered an assault rifle, ammu­ni­tion, pis­tols, grenades and chest racks at the scene.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained two Haqqani lead­ers, along with anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent, in an intel­li­gence-dri­ven oper­a­tion in Nan­garhar province’s Cha­parhar dis­trict. The Haqqani lead­ers planned, orga­nized and facil­i­tat­ed attacks on Afghan gov­ern­ment offi­cials in Jalal­abad and on coali­tion forces in the area. One was respon­si­ble for attacks against Afghan check­points and infra­struc­ture devel­op­ments and was involved in a Novem­ber attack on For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Fen­ty, offi­cials said. The oth­er, they added, tried to buy Stinger mis­siles for a future attack on Jalal­abad Air­field.

— In Ghazni province’s Gelan dis­trict, Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Tal­iban leader and anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent. The Tal­iban leader has been involved in weapons trade and dis­tri­b­u­tion, oper­at­ing out of Zab­ul province’s Shah Joy dis­trict and Ghazni’s Gelan dis­trict. He report­ed­ly had sev­er­al heavy machine guns for an upcom­ing attack against Afghan and coali­tion forces, offi­cials said.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor in War­dak province’s Sayyid­abad dis­trict. He report­ed­ly received ammu­ni­tion from a Tal­iban insur­gent and con­duct­ed sur­veil­lance on coali­tion forces for upcom­ing attacks, offi­cials said.

— In Khost province, Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor who oper­at­ed in the province’s Sabari and Khost dis­tricts, along with anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent.

The Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor guid­ed and direct­ed attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces in the province’s Sabari, Bak, and Ter­ayzai dis­tricts, offi­cials said, and he report­ed­ly received an update on plans for an attack tar­get­ing coali­tion forces from a Haqqani net­work leader.

The secu­ri­ty force recov­ered assault rifles, pis­tols, chest racks and ammu­ni­tion at the scene.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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