Afghanistan — Forces Capture Taliban Commander in Kandahar

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