Afghanistan — Coalition Condemns Insurgent Attacks, Continues Operations

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2011 — Four Afghan civil­ians were killed and at least eight oth­ers were seri­ous­ly wound­ed today in two insur­gent attacks that fol­lowed sev­er­al days in which Afghan and coali­tion troops killed or cap­tured numer­ous insur­gent lead­ers in Afghanistan, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Offi­cials of the NATO-led Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force con­demned the attacks, which began this morn­ing when two men entered a mosque in the Chacha Salin­gi dis­trict of the north­east province of Bagh­lan and began shoot­ing the pray­ing civil­ians, mur­der­ing four and wound­ing two. 

“We join the Bagh­lan author­i­ties in anger over this despi­ca­ble mur­der of inno­cent civil­ians. To gun down a group of peo­ple in prayer is rep­re­hen­si­ble,” said Navy Rear Adm. Vic­tor M. Beck, ISAF direc­tor of pub­lic affairs. “We offer our con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies who lost loved ones, and hope for a rapid recov­ery for the wound­ed. We will con­tin­ue to work with the Afghan gov­ern­ment in bring­ing those respon­si­ble to justice.” 

Lat­er today, six peo­ple were seri­ous­ly wound­ed, includ­ing an Afghan police offi­cer, when insur­gents trig­gered a device bomb in the west­ern city of Herat. 

In oth­er oper­a­tions today, Afghan and coali­tion forces seized numer­ous ene­my weapons dur­ing patrols in east­ern and south­ern Afghanistan. The com­bined forces found caches in Hel­mand, Log­ar and Warkak provinces that yield­ed sev­er­al assault rifles, a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­er, rock­ets, mor­tars, grenades, ammu­ni­tion, dozens of land mines, 25 det­o­na­tors, and eight 100-pound bags of ammo­ni­um nitrate, a fer­tile that the Afghan gov­ern­ment has banned because it can be used to make explosives. 

In oper­a­tions yes­ter­day in Afghanistan: 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a sus­pect­ed Tal­iban bomb mak­er in Kan­da­har believed to be respon­si­ble for attacks against troops in Kan­da­har City and known to have close con­tacts with oth­er Tal­iban lead­ers in the area. Secu­ri­ty forces found the man and numer­ous oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents dur­ing a search of sev­er­al build­ings in the city. 

— Com­bined forces detained a Tal­iban leader respon­si­ble for kid­nap­pings of Afghan civil­ians on Afghanistan’s south­ern thor­ough­fare, High­way 1, dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in Zab­ul province. The leader, believed respon­si­ble for attacks against mil­i­tary forces in the area, was detained peace­ful­ly, along with two oth­er suspects. 

— Com­bined forces in Nim­roz province detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents there while tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader believed respon­si­ble for bomb attacks against coali­tion forces. The leader also is sus­pect­ed of bring­ing sui­cide bombers into Afghanistan and lead­ing attacks in neigh­bor­ing Farah province. 

— In Ghazni province, com­bined forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader known for weapons traf­fick­ing and bomb attacks in the Muqer dis­trict. He also is sus­pect­ed in a com­plex sui­cide-bomber attack in Kab­ul City on Dec. 19 that killed four Afghan sol­diers and wound­ed sev­er­al Afghan secu­ri­ty forces personnel. 

— In Khost province’s Ter­ayzai dis­trict, com­bined forces detained a Pak­istani-based Tal­iban leader who oper­at­ed in Log­ar province, along with sev­er­al oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents. In Jan. 1 operations: 

— In Kunar province’s Watah­pur dis­trict, coali­tion forces killed two insur­gents after the men fired on two ISAF patrols with small-arms fire and rock­et-pro­pelled grenades. After gain­ing pos­i­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, coali­tion forces returned fire and called for artillery fire and air sup­port, which was direct­ed by two near­by ISAF com­bat out­posts. In a sep­a­rate oper­a­tion in Kunar, after declar­ing an immi­nent threat posed by three insur­gents mov­ing into his­tor­i­cal fight­ing posi­tions in the Darah-ye Pech dis­trict, coali­tion forces engaged them with .50-cal­iber fire, killing two. 

— Com­bined forces tar­get­ed the Tal­iban leader for Ghazni’s Muqer dis­trict, and detained one sus­pect. The leader has direct con­nec­tions with Tal­iban lead­er­ship and shad­ow gov­er­nors in the area and is sus­pect­ed in the Dec. 19 sui­cide-bomb attack in Kab­ul City. 

— Com­bined forces cap­tured a Tal­iban leader asso­ci­at­ed with a Dec. 18 vehi­cle-bomb attack in Kan­da­har City. Secu­ri­ty forces on a clear­ing oper­a­tion fol­lowed leads to a com­pound in the Dand dis­trict where the leader was detained after ini­tial ques­tion­ing. He is believed to be respon­si­ble for sup­ply­ing insur­gents and plan­ning attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces in Kan­da­har province. 

— A com­bined patrol tar­get­ed a Tal­iban leader dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Helmand’s Nad‑e Ali dis­trict. As the patrol pre­pared to enter a build­ing in the tar­get­ed com­pound, a man was killed when he tried to engage the force with a hand­gun. Anoth­er man was killed when he picked up the dis­card­ed hand­gun and ignored calls in Dari and Pash­to to drop the weapon. One man was detained dur­ing the operation. 

— Com­bined forces detained a Tal­iban leader and anoth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gent after search­ing a large com­pound in Farah province. The leader is sus­pect­ed of attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces in the Khak‑e Safayd dis­trict and had recent­ly moved to the Bak­wah dis­trict after coali­tion forces cap­tured numer­ous insur­gents in Khak‑e Safayd. 

— In a sep­a­rate oper­a­tion, com­bined forces killed two insur­gents in the Bak­wah dis­trict while tar­get­ing a sep­a­rate com­pound. Before the force could begin to secure the area, armed insur­gents shot at the force, which returned fire, result­ing in one insur­gent being killed. The force fol­lowed a sec­ond armed man to the com­pound, where Afghan forces called for all occu­pants to exit peace­ful­ly before the secu­ri­ty force cleared and secured the com­pound. The armed insur­gent was seen run­ning into a room, where he bar­ri­cad­ed him­self. After sev­er­al attempts, the secu­ri­ty force esca­lat­ed its call-out pro­ce­dures before enter­ing the room and killing the insurgent. 

— In Khost province, com­bined forces cap­tured a Tal­iban leader who pro­vid­ed bomb mate­ri­als for a Dec. 5 attack on For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Light­ing. The man pri­mar­i­ly oper­at­ed in Pak­tiya province and trav­eled to Kab­ul, Log­ar and Khost to pro­vide the Tal­iban with sup­plies to car­ry out attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces. He also is asso­ci­at­ed with the Kab­ul attack net­work. Secu­ri­ty forces fol­lowed leads to the tar­get­ed loca­tion in the Ter­ayzai dis­trict, where the man and three addi­tion­al sus­pects were detained after questioning. 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured a Tal­iban weapons facil­i­ta­tor for Nangarhar’s Cha­parhar dis­trict. The man is believed respon­si­ble for sup­ply­ing weapons and bombs for attacks against troops and gov­ern­ment offi­cials in the Jalal­abad, Cha­parhar and Pachir wa Agam dis­tricts. Anoth­er sus­pect also was detained. 

— Coali­tion forces killed two insur­gents in Helmand’s Nahr‑e Saraj dis­trict after insur­gents fired at a coali­tion patrol in the area. After gain­ing pos­i­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, coali­tion forces returned fire and called for air sup­port. The air weapons team on scene engaged the ene­my posi­tion, killing the insurgents. 

ISAF patrols found sev­er­al weapons caches dur­ing sep­a­rate clear­ing oper­a­tions in Log­ar, Kunar and Hel­mand provinces, includ­ing bomb com­po­nents, hand grenades, fus­es, an RPG motor, 110 pounds of explo­sives, 36 recoil­less rifle rounds, an assault rifle and 40 40 mm rounds. 

— Afghan bor­der police and ISAF forces found two vehi­cles trans­port­ing explo­sives and a weapons cache in Khost’s Gur­buz dis­trict. The cache con­sist­ed of a bag full of home­made explo­sives, 98 blast­ing caps and sev­er­al loose 9 mm rounds. Coali­tion forces also detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents relat­ed to the cache. 

In Dec. 31 operations: 

— Abdul Hai, a Tal­iban leader who oper­at­ed in Kun­duz and was affil­i­at­ed with mul­ti­ple Tal­iban insur­gents in north­ern Afghanistan, was killed dur­ing an Afghan and coali­tion force operation. 

— An Afghan fam­i­ly was hit by a grenade thrown by insur­gents in Kandahar’s Zharay dis­trict. The attack killed one civil­ian and seri­ous­ly wound­ed six oth­ers, includ­ing two chil­dren. Afghan and ISAF forces tried to locate the insur­gents, who fled the area. 

— An Afghan civil­ian was seri­ous­ly wound­ed in Pak­ti­ka province’s Bermal dis­trict when insur­gents attacked an ISAF for­ward oper­at­ing base. Afghan sol­diers and ISAF forces did not return fire, but rather pro­vid­ed med­ical assis­tance for the wound­ed civil­ian, who sub­se­quent­ly was tak­en to an ISAF med­ical facility. 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor and bomb-mak­ing expert dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in Log­ar. The man was respon­si­ble for attacks and ambush­es against Afghan and coali­tion forces in the Bara­ki Barak dis­trict. After the tar­get­ed man was detained, he led the secu­ri­ty force to a sec­ond com­pound, where they detained anoth­er sus­pect­ed insurgent. 

— Act­ing on intel­li­gence tips, com­bined forces detained a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work leader who oper­ates in Khost’s Sabari dis­trict, along with sev­er­al oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents. The leader was respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing attacks against coali­tion forces and sup­ply­ing Haqqani fight­ers with weapons, ammu­ni­tion and equip­ment. The secu­ri­ty force found a machine gun with a large amount of ammu­ni­tion, a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­er with rounds and mul­ti­ple assault rifles. 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces act­ing on intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion cap­tured a Tal­iban leader who has con­nec­tions with oth­er Tal­iban lead­ers through­out War­dak province’s Sayyid­abad dis­trict. The leader is a liai­son to a Tal­iban gov­ern­ing com­mis­sion in the district. 

— Com­bined forces look­ing for a Tal­iban weapons facil­i­ta­tor detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Ghazni province. 

— Coali­tion forces tar­get­ed a Tal­iban road­side-bomb cell leader with a pre­ci­sion air strike in Kan­da­har province, killing three armed insur­gents. The tar­get­ed leader is respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing, prepar­ing and sup­ply­ing insur­gents for attacks against troops in the Zharay dis­trict. The air strike occurred as the tar­get­ed man and anoth­er insur­gent were iden­ti­fied in a remote area. The insur­gent was killed in the strike, but the tar­get­ed man ran to a near­by com­pound and gath­ered local Afghans around him, includ­ing a child, to deter fur­ther attacks. Forces wait­ed until the man was clear of civil­ians before call­ing in a sec­ond air strike where he was locat­ed with four armed insur­gents in an open field. Two of the men were killed. Ini­tial reports indi­cate there were no civil­ian casu­al­ties or dam­age to build­ings. The remain­ing sus­pects dis­persed before forces could arrive at the scene. The man was want­ed for his role in a vehi­cle-bomb attack in Sangsar on Dec. 12. 

— In an intel­li­gence-based oper­a­tion, Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ed a Tal­iban leader in the Shin Wari area of Kun­duz, detain­ing numer­ous sus­pects and killing sev­er­al armed insur­gents. The Tal­iban leader plants road­side bombs and dis­trib­utes funds and weapons to Tal­iban leadership. 

— Com­bined forces tar­get­ed a senior Tal­iban leader dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Helmand’s Musa Qalah dis­trict. After see­ing the Afghan and coali­tion force mov­ing toward him, one man was killed after he ducked into a near­by build­ing, emerged with a rifle and tried to engage the force. Anoth­er man offered to help the force search a room, and while they were search­ing, he pulled a hand­gun from under a mat­tress. He attempt­ed to engage the force and was killed. Two men were detained. 

In Dec. 30 operations: 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained a Haqqani leader who oper­ates in Khost’s Ter­ayzai dis­trict, along with sev­er­al oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents, in an intel­li­gence-dri­ven oper­a­tion. The Haqqani leader was respon­si­ble for mov­ing and plant­i­ng road­side bombs in the province. 

— Com­bined forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Kun­duz province as they tar­get­ed a Tal­iban leader known for mak­ing road­side bombs and sui­cide vests, lead­ing Tal­iban fight­ers, and fir­ing anti-air­craft weapons against Afghan and coali­tion forces. The secu­ri­ty force fol­lowed intel­li­gence reports to a com­pound in the Cha­har Darah dis­trict, where they shot and killed an insur­gent who fired on them. The secu­ri­ty force recov­ered an assault rifle, mul­ti­ple grenades and a chest rack. 

— The Tal­iban deputy shad­ow gov­er­nor for Kun­duz province was killed dur­ing a fire­fight with Afghan and coali­tion forces. The man, known only as Bahadur, pro­vid­ed fund­ing, weapons and sup­plies to Tal­iban fight­ers, con­duct­ed attacks and pro­vid­ed oper­a­tional guid­ance to senior Tal­iban lead­ers in the province. An ISAF spokesman called Bahadur “a key plan­ner and enabler of oper­a­tions against inno­cent Afghan people.” 

— Com­bined forces tar­get­ed a Tal­iban logis­tics offi­cer who reports to the deputy shad­ow gov­er­nor for War­dak province, killing sev­er­al armed insur­gents. The com­bined force fol­lowed intel­li­gence reports to a com­pound in Warkdak’s Nerkh dis­trict and killed sev­er­al armed insur­gents who fired on them as they approached. The force recov­ered mul­ti­ple weapons and ammu­ni­tion, and dis­cov­ered an Afghan child was wound­ed. A coali­tion med­ical tech­ni­cian pro­vid­ed imme­di­ate first aid. Coali­tion forces evac­u­at­ed the child, escort­ed by a fam­i­ly mem­ber, to a coali­tion hos­pi­tal with­in min­utes, but the child lat­er died. 

— Two senior Tal­iban fight­ers known as Iqbal and Qadir were killed dur­ing an Afghan and coali­tion oper­a­tion in War­dak province. Iqbal was a Tal­iban logis­tics offi­cer who reports to the deputy shad­ow gov­er­nor. Qadir was a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor and logis­ti­cian respon­si­ble for weapons pro­cure­ment and pro­vi­sions in the district. 

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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