Afghanistan — Forces Battle Insurgents; Taliban Chief Orders Civilian Deaths

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2010 — An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed and wound­ed sev­er­al insur­gents in Nim­roz province yes­ter­day dur­ing an oper­a­tion to cap­ture a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der known to arrange safe havens for insur­gent lead­ers, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Also, a top Tal­iban chief­tain ordered sub­or­di­nates to kill inno­cent Afghan civil­ians, offi­cials said.

In the Nim­roz province oper­a­tion a com­bined secu­ri­ty force came upon a vehi­cle con­tain­ing insur­gent sus­pects. As the secu­ri­ty force approached the vehi­cle, they were engaged by two insur­gents. The secu­ri­ty force killed both insur­gents. The force found sev­er­al auto­mat­ic weapons with rounds and rock­et-pro­pelled grenades in the vehi­cle.

Based on infor­ma­tion gath­ered from the vehi­cle, the Afghan part­ner unit iden­ti­fied a sec­ond vehi­cle attempt­ing to hide with­in the vil­lage. When the secu­ri­ty force tried to stop the vehi­cle, the occu­pants exit­ed and attempt­ed to engage the force with mul­ti­ple weapons. Sev­er­al insur­gents were killed and wound­ed. No civil­ians were injured dur­ing this oper­a­tion. Insur­gents in Nim­roz province also are involved in weapons facil­i­ta­tion, and the group has ordered the exe­cu­tion of kid­napped Afghan civil­ians sus­pect­ed of spy­ing for Afghan and ISAF forces. In ear­ly June, the ISAF inter­cept­ed orders from Tal­iban spir­i­tu­al leader Mul­lah Omar, who direct­ed his fight­ers to kill inno­cent Afghan civil­ians. This order is in direct con­tra­dic­tion to Omar’s instruc­tions last year urg­ing his fol­low­ers to min­i­mize civil­ian casu­al­ties in an attempt to com­pete with the ISAF’s pop­u­la­tion-cen­tric tac­ti­cal direc­tives.

Omar’s newest direc­tive orders his com­man­ders to: fight coali­tion forces to the death with­out with­draw­ing or sur­ren­der­ing, while attempt­ing to cap­ture coali­tion forces when­ev­er pos­si­ble; cap­ture and kill any Afghan who is sup­port­ing or work­ing for coali­tion forces or the Gov­ern­ment of the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Afghanistan; cap­ture and kill any Afghan women who are help­ing or pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion to coali­tion forces; recruit any­one who has access to coali­tion force bases and has the abil­i­ty to col­lect detailed infor­ma­tion about coali­tion forces; pur­chase or obtain more heavy weapons such as rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, machine guns and anti-air­craft machine guns.

“This [order] proves the Tal­iban are will­ing to ignore their own Code of Con­duct when they sense they are los­ing influ­ence and con­trol,” said Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, ISAF spokesper­son, “as today’s attack against sev­er­al Afghan civil­ians were killed and injured by a sui­cide attack in a res­i­den­tial area in Kab­ul today demon­strates.” Recent insur­gent-caused civil­ian casu­al­ty data from ISAF esti­mates insur­gent actions have caused 479 civil­ian deaths between Jan. 1 and June 30, with 116 of those occur­ring in the month of June.

In oth­er July 18 news:

— An Afghan civil­ian was killed when an Afghan Nation­al Police patrol struck an impro­vised explo­sive device in Kan­da­har City. ISAF forces respond­ed to the scene and pro­vid­ed sup­port. Insur­gents have killed near­ly 80 civil­ians and wound­ed more than 150 oth­ers in the past two weeks, offi­cials said. — Sev­er­al Afghan civil­ians were killed and injured dur­ing a sui­cide attack in a res­i­den­tial area in Kab­ul. Afghan Nation­al Police were at the scene and are inves­ti­gat­ing. No ISAF ser­vice­mem­bers were injured in the attack.

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force in Kab­ul cap­tured a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor who was con­sid­ered a direct threat to the July 20 Kab­ul Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence. The com­bined secu­ri­ty force went to a com­pound out­side Katasana in Musahi dis­trict to cap­ture the facil­i­ta­tor, who has direct ties to the Kab­ul Attack Net­work and is respon­si­ble for impro­vised explo­sive device and vehi­cle-borne IED attacks. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to peace­ful­ly exit the build­ings. After the com­pound was cleared and secured, the com­bined secu­ri­ty force detained the facil­i­ta­tor. No shots were fired and women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed by the com­bined secu­ri­ty force. The Kab­ul con­fer­ence will bring togeth­er rep­re­sen­ta­tives of more than 70 part­ner coun­tries, inter­na­tion­al and region­al orga­ni­za­tions and finan­cial insti­tu­tions to delib­er­ate and endorse an Afghan gov­ern­ment-led plan for improved devel­op­ment, gov­er­nance and sta­bil­i­ty.

Afghanistan news for July 17:

— Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der and two addi­tion­al facil­i­ta­tors, all con­sid­ered direct threats to the Kab­ul con­fer­ence. A sep­a­rate Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed sev­er­al insur­gents and detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban weapons facil­i­ta­tor in Kan­da­har province. The facil­i­ta­tor also assists with the move­ment of for­eign fight­ers into the area and coor­di­nates assas­si­na­tions with­in Kan­da­har. As the secu­ri­ty force approached a com­pound north­east of Makuan in Zharay dis­trict they were imme­di­ate­ly engaged by a num­ber of armed insur­gents. The secu­ri­ty force returned fire, killing sev­er­al of the insur­gents. After the ini­tial engage­ment, the secu­ri­ty force dis­cov­ered an IED on a foot path lead­ing to the tar­get­ed com­pound and sub­se­quent­ly iden­ti­fied mul­ti­ple IEDs rigged through­out the build­ings in the com­pound. As the force con­tin­ued their search they found a home­made explo­sives fac­to­ry and a com­plex bunker sys­tem con­tain­ing rock­et-pro­pelled grenades emp­tied of their explo­sives. Women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed by the com­bined secu­ri­ty force.

— Anoth­er Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent in Zab­ul province while pur­su­ing a Shah Joy dis­trict Tal­iban com­man­der. The com­bined force went to a series of com­pounds in Mol­la Bahlul Kowrunah in Shah Joy dis­trict. After clear­ing and secur­ing the area, the secu­ri­ty force inter­viewed the res­i­dents of the tar­get­ed com­pound and detained the sus­pect­ed insur­gent. No shots were fired and women and chil­dren present were pro­tect­ed by the com­bined secu­ri­ty force.

Afghanistan news for July 16:

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed sev­er­al insur­gents in the Deh Chopan dis­trict of Zab­ul province when insur­gents attacked the com­bined force with small-arms fire. The attack came only min­utes after the com­bined force had met with vil­lagers as part of an engage­ment ini­tia­tive to build rela­tion­ships and increase aware­ness of the Afghanistan government’s goals and objec­tives. The com­bined force received machine gun and AK-47 fire from an unknown num­ber of insur­gents in mul­ti­ple fir­ing posi­tions. The com­bined force returned fire and called in close-air sup­port to drop pre­ci­sion guid­ed muni­tions on the insur­gent fir­ing posi­tions. Sev­er­al insur­gents were killed in the engage­ment, while oth­ers fled the scene.

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force cap­tured a Tal­iban IED facil­i­ta­tor in Kab­ul after intel­li­gence indi­cat­ed he was involved in coor­di­nat­ing an attack in Kab­ul dur­ing the Kab­ul con­fer­ence. A com­bined secu­ri­ty force went to a com­pound in the city and Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to peace­ful­ly exit the build­ings. After the com­pound was cleared and secured, the com­bined secu­ri­ty force detained the facil­i­ta­tor along with sev­er­al oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents. No dam­age was done to the com­pound and women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed by the com­bined secu­ri­ty force.

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Kan­da­har province while pur­su­ing a senior Tal­iban com­man­der who oper­ates from east­ern Kan­da­har City. The com­man­der is respon­si­ble for IED and indi­rect fire attacks and sui­cide bomb­ings in and around Kan­da­har City. The secu­ri­ty force detained the sus­pect­ed insur­gents for fur­ther ques­tion­ing after inter­view­ing res­i­dents of a tar­get­ed com­pound near Kher­sak in Arghandab dis­trict. No shots were fired and women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed by the com­bined secu­ri­ty force.

Afghanistan news for July 15:

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force dis­cov­ered near­ly 2 tons of hero­in as well as 1,800 pounds of raw opi­um and 200 pounds of ammo­ni­um nitrate dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in the Now Zad dis­trict of Hel­mand province. The secu­ri­ty force also detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents who were trans­port­ing the drugs and explo­sive mate­r­i­al, which was destroyed at the scene. No shots were fired. Accord­ing to U.S. Drug Enforce­ment Agency offi­cials, the con­fis­cat­ed drugs have a U.S. street val­ue of more than $38 mil­lion. The ammo­ni­um nitrate could be used to pro­duce about 25 IEDs. The com­bined secu­ri­ty force was pur­su­ing a senior Tal­iban com­man­der oper­at­ing in north­ern Hel­mand province who also is involved in the pur­chase and dis­tri­b­u­tion of IED-mak­ing mate­r­i­al. The Afghan-inter­na­tion­al forces dis­cov­ered the drugs and ille­gal fer­til­iz­er in an area east of Urmuz in Now Zad dis­trict. Hel­mand province has seen heavy fight­ing between coali­tion forces and the Tal­iban, who are deeply entrenched in the vil­lages of the pop­py-pro­duc­ing region. The Tal­iban are known to use the pro­ceeds from the sale of drugs to pay for weapons, IED com­po­nents, explo­sives and for­eign fight­ers who are being brought into Kan­da­har and Hel­mand provinces by the Tal­iban. “Drugs, weapons, bombs, for­eign fight­ers and vio­lence-this is what the Tal­iban offers the peo­ple of Afghanistan,” said Col. Rafael Tor­res, ISAF Joint Command’s Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter direc­tor. Afghan and inter­na­tion­al forces, Tor­res added, will “con­tin­ue to inter­dict the drugs used to fund insur­gent activ­i­ty and give the peo­ple of Hel­mand the oppor­tu­ni­ty that secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty will bring.”

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Hel­mand province while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban mil­i­tary com­man­der in charge of fight­ers in parts of Mar­jah and Nad ‘Ali dis­tricts. The secu­ri­ty force went to a com­pound in rur­al Nad ‘Ali dis­trict to search the area. After secur­ing the area, the secu­ri­ty force inter­viewed res­i­dents of the tar­get­ed com­pounds and then detained the sus­pect­ed insur­gents. Last month Afghan and inter­na­tion­al forces killed Maulawi Mah­mood, a recent­ly appoint­ed senior Tal­iban com­man­der for Mai­wand dis­trict in west­ern Kan­da­har province.

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

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