WASHINGTON, May 24, 2010 – Afghan and international forces captured a Taliban commander in Kandahar, Afghanistan, last night, the second Taliban leader seized in the region in recent days, military officials reported.
An Afghan-international security force captured the man and several insurgents in the village of Kukaran after intelligence indicated insurgent activity there. The commander is believed to be responsible for leading Taliban fighters in southern Arghandab, coordinating attacks on coalition forces and distributing rockets, improvised explosive devices, small arms and ammunition to fighters throughout the area.
A combined Afghan-international force captured another Taliban commander northwest of Kandahar City on May 22. The man, who surrendered immediately when confronted, is believed to be responsible for ambushing coalition forces and other attacks in the southern Arghandab and Dand districts.
In other news from Afghanistan:
— A combined security force seized materials used to build improvised explosive devices following the search of a compound in the Chahar Darah district of Kunduz province last night.
— In Logar province last night, a combined force detained several suspected insurgents and seized a weapons cache following a search of a compound in Charkh district. The cache included several rocket-propelled grenades, multiple automatic rifles, ammunition, grenades and notes on how to conduct suicide bombings.
— In Zabul province last night, a combined force searched a compound in the Shah Joy district and detained a suspected militant for further questioning.
— In Helmand province yesterday, a combined patrol was given permission to search a mosque in Musa Qal’ah district where they seized a cache consisting of multiple AK-47s, 200 pounds of homemade explosives, pressure plates and a pro-Taliban painting. The cache was removed from the mosque and destroyed.
— Also in the Musa Qal’ah district yesterday, a combined patrol found a cache consisting of 550 pounds of opium and two AK-47s with loaded magazines. Two people were detained for further questioning.
— In western Afghanistan’s Farah province yesterday, a combined patrol confiscated a large weapons cache in a cave and tunnel complex in the Saji Valley. The cache contained two complete 82 mm mortar systems with extra tube and 34 mortar rounds, a 14.5 mm anti-aircraft gun with 200 rounds and three spare barrels, two 82 mm recoilless rifle rounds, seven RPGs, 175 mortar fuses, 14.5 mm and 12.7 mm ammunition, and small-arms ammunition.
– In the Kajaki district of Helmand province yesterday, an international patrol found a weapons cache consisting of two grenades, two mines, six smoke bombs and various explosive components. The cache will be destroyed.
– In the Washer district of Helmand province yesterday, a combined patrol discovered a weapons cache containing more than 1,200 machine gun rounds, three 82 mm mortars and four 120 mm mortars. The cache was destroyed. In May 21 operations:
— In Helmand province, a combined force detained several suspected insurgents while searching a series of buildings in Lashkar Gah district.
— A combined force detained a suspected insurgent in Zabul while searching a compound in Sha Joy district.
— An international patrol discovered a weapons cache in the Pul-e Khumri district of Baghlan province. Recent heavy rains uncovered the previously buried munitions discovered by local children. The cache, consisting of 20 82 mm grenades, 15 mines and seven artillery rounds, was destroyed.
— An international patrol discovered a weapons cache consisting of four 82 mm rockets, a machine gun and a rocket-propelled grenade in the Panjwa’i district of Kandahar province. The cache was destroyed.
— A combined force destroyed an explosives factory with a precision air strike in Kandahar. The combined force was approaching a compound in a farming area in Zharay district when they discovered the area was heavily mined to protect the building. Once inside, the force discovered a high explosives factory used by insurgents to produce IEDs and mines. The security force called in the strike, which destroyed the building. No Afghan citizens were harmed during the operation.
— In the Bala Baluk district of Farah province, an international patrol found eight detonation devices that link several charges to one initiator, four pressure-plate initiation devices, 20 meters of detonation cord, five remote control initiation devices and 40 battery packs. The cache was confiscated to prevent its use in IEDs.
— In the Murghab district of Badghis province, a combined patrol found two pressure-plate IEDs. The devices were destroyed in place.
— In the Garm Ser district of Helmand province, an ISAF patrol found two bags of ammonium nitrate, a common ingredient in IEDs. The material was confiscated and destroyed.
— In the Now Zad district of Helmand province, a combined patrol found two IEDs, each with 10 pounds of homemade explosives. The devices were designed to detonate when stepped on. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the devices.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases