Afghanistan — Combined Forces Kill 3 Insurgents

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2010 — Afghan and coali­tion forces killed three insur­gents and detained three oth­ers yes­ter­day dur­ing their con­tin­u­ing pur­suit of a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der respon­si­ble for lead­ing attacks against Afghan civil­ians and Afghan and coali­tion forces in Afghanistan’s Pak­tia province, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

As the assault force approached a tar­get­ed com­pound, three armed insur­gents ran out and posed an immi­nent threat on the assault force. The assault force engaged and killed the insur­gents, who were armed with assault rifles, grenades, a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­er and mul­ti­ple rounds of ammu­ni­tion.

After ques­tion­ing all of the res­i­dents at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force detained three more sus­pect­ed insur­gents. They also found an auto­mat­ic weapon with rounds in the com­pound. The secu­ri­ty force pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search.

In oth­er news from Afghanistan, a coali­tion com­bat out­post came under insur­gent fire yes­ter­day in Kunar province’s Darah-ye Pech dis­trict. The coali­tion force respond­ed with mor­tar fire and called for air sup­port.

An insur­gent round land­ed short of its tar­get, report­ed­ly killing an Afghan civil­ian in a corn­field. Coali­tion oper­a­tional reports con­firm that four insur­gents were killed when pre­ci­sion-guid­ed muni­tions were used on a ridge­line near where the insur­gent fire orig­i­nat­ed.

Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force offi­cials said they are aware of civil­ian casu­al­ty alle­ga­tions and are con­duct­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion.

“We take alle­ga­tions of civil­ian casu­al­ties seri­ous­ly,” said Air Force Col. James Dawkins, ISAF Joint Command’s com­bined joint oper­a­tions cen­ter direc­tor. “We’re inves­ti­gat­ing to find out what hap­pened.”

In an Aug. 25 oper­a­tion, an Afghan-led force dis­cov­ered a large weapons cache in a remote vil­lage in Badakhshan province.

The cache con­sist­ed of 78 107 mm rock­ets with launch­ers, 47 82 mm mor­tar rounds, more than 1,100 rounds of 30 mm ammu­ni­tion, 8,000 rounds of 7.62 mm machine-gun ammu­ni­tion, 24 rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, 60 fus­es and anti-air­craft artillery parts. With help from pack ani­mals sup­plied by vil­lagers, the cache was moved to a safe loca­tion before being destroyed.

Afghan sol­diers part­nered with agents from the Drug Enforce­ment Agency, the Afghan Nation­al Inter­dic­tion Unit and U.S. Spe­cial Forces, dis­cov­ered the cache in Naw­ci, a vil­lage sus­pect­ed of being a safe haven for Tal­iban drug and weapon smug­glers oper­at­ing in the area and an infil­tra­tion route for for­eign fight­ers oper­at­ing through­out Afghanistan’s north­east­ern provinces.

The part­nered force estab­lished secu­ri­ty around the cache site to pro­tect local vil­lagers and then met with vil­lage elders to dis­cuss any con­cerns. Because of the remote­ness of the vil­lage, the meet­ing was only the sec­ond oppor­tu­ni­ty coali­tion forces have had to speak with vil­lagers in Naw­ci, offi­cials said.

Also on Aug. 25, Afghan forces part­nered with ISAF forces con­clud­ed a com­bined secu­ri­ty sweep of east­ern Afghanistan’s Uzbeen Val­ley area.

The oper­a­tion began Aug. 21 with an air assault of Afghan, French and U.S. sol­diers and focused on clear­ing the area, root­ing out ene­my insur­gent fight­ers and secur­ing and destroy­ing ille­gal explo­sives and muni­tions, offi­cials said.

After ini­tial suc­cess in which about 40 Tal­iban fight­ers were killed and sev­er­al key Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tors were cap­tured, offi­cials said, oper­a­tions tran­si­tioned toward the dis­rup­tion of insur­gent net­works and the elim­i­na­tion of explo­sives and weapons.

The com­bined force con­sist­ed of 430 French sol­diers from Task Force Bison, 360 U.S. sol­diers from Task Force Iron Grey, 200 sol­diers from the 201st Corps of the Afghan Nation­al Army that were inte­grat­ed into both task forces, 60 Afghan com­man­dos from Kan­dak Com­man­do, and ele­ments of the Afghan Nation­al Police in part­ner­ship with French police liai­son teams. Six­ty rock­ets and mor­tars were found and safe­ly destroyed, as well as a large quan­ti­ty of home­made explo­sives and mate­ri­als used in build­ing road­side bombs. In addi­tion to the muni­tions, two lab­o­ra­to­ries used in forg­ing fake iden­ti­fi­ca­tions and offi­cial papers were found and destroyed.

The Afghan and coali­tion forces con­duct­ed sev­er­al meet­ings with local res­i­dents dur­ing the five-day oper­a­tion, explain­ing what they were doing and address­ing con­cerns that arose as the com­bined oper­a­tion moved through the area. Par­tic­u­lar atten­tion was paid to cul­tur­al sen­si­tiv­i­ties and the height­ened require­ments of a local pop­u­la­tion that is immersed in the obser­vance of the Mus­lim holy month of Ramadan, offi­cials said.

Mean­while, ISAF offi­cials con­firmed the cap­ture of a senior Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work com­man­der dur­ing a com­bined Afghan and coali­tion oper­a­tion Aug. 25. The com­man­der, who coor­di­nates and con­ducts attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces, was among sev­er­al insur­gents detained after intel­li­gence indi­cat­ed the group was gath­er­ing for an upcom­ing com­plex attack con­sist­ing of sui­cide bombers and a vehi­cle-borne bomb.

Source:
Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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