Afghanistan — Forces Conduct Operations in Three Afghan Provinces

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2010 — Afghan and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty forces con­duct­ed com­bined oper­a­tions in Afghanistan’s Ghazni, Hel­mand and Log­ar provinces last night, detain­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der and sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Ghazni while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor respon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing mon­ey, muni­tions and guid­ance to the Tal­iban and to the Haqqani ter­ror­ist organization’s net­works in Ghazni and Pak­ti­ka provinces.

The secu­ri­ty force went to a com­pound in the Gelan dis­trict, and Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for the occu­pants to come out of the build­ings before the com­bined force cleared the com­pound and arrest­ed the sus­pects.

A sep­a­rate com­bined force cap­tured the Nawah-ye Barakzai district’s Tal­iban shad­ow gov­ern­ment chief in Hel­mand and detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents. The Tal­iban chief is believed to be respon­si­ble for deci­sions involv­ing Tal­iban mil­i­tary oper­a­tions and shad­ow gov­er­nance, and he also led intim­i­da­tion oper­a­tions against res­i­dents in the area, offi­cials said.

He was cap­tured dur­ing a search of a series of com­pounds out­side Lashkar Gah. The secu­ri­ty force iden­ti­fied the sus­pect with iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards found at the scene.

In an oper­a­tion in the same area of Hel­mand on July 3, a com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban com­man­der sus­pect­ed of facil­i­tat­ing weapons and sui­cide bombers, as well as a num­ber of sus­pect­ed Tal­iban fight­ers.

Anoth­er Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Log­ar last night while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor respon­si­ble for road­side-bomb attacks in the Bara­ki Barak dis­trict, as well as indi­rect-fire attacks at an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force for­ward oper­at­ing base, most recent­ly on June 20.

The com­bined force went to a series of com­pounds to search the area. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for the occu­pants to come out the build­ings, and then cleared the com­pound. The secu­ri­ty force found mul­ti­ple auto­mat­ic weapons and extrem­ist pro­pa­gan­da mate­r­i­al.

On the night of July 4, a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Log­ar while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der believed to be involved in a mor­tar attack on an ISAF for­ward oper­at­ing base ear­li­er in the day.

The com­bined secu­ri­ty force went to a com­pound in the Bara­ki Barak dis­trict after Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for the occu­pants to come out of the build­ings. Two men who tried to escape were caught and detained.

The secu­ri­ty force also found and destroyed a sig­nif­i­cant amount of bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als, includ­ing home-made explo­sives, pres­sure plates and com­mand det­o­na­tion wires.

ISAF and Afghan offi­cials con­firmed that a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force cap­tured a Tal­iban com­man­der respon­si­ble for sev­er­al road­side-bomb attacks, ambush­es and kid­nap­ping oper­a­tions through­out the Aynak area in Hel­mand. The com­man­der, sus­pect­ed of facil­i­tat­ing weapons and sui­cide bombers for the Tal­iban, was cap­tured along with a num­ber of sus­pect­ed insur­gents out­side Lashkar July 4.

Offi­cials also con­firmed that an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work weapons facil­i­ta­tor along with two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Khost province July 4. The Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor, believed to have led bomb­ing attacks against coali­tion forces, was cap­tured in a com­pound east of Bazar.

In Kan­da­har province, an Afghan-led secu­ri­ty force detained a num­ber of sus­pect­ed Tal­iban fight­ers and destroyed two road­side bombs on a foot-path fre­quent­ed by local vil­lagers dur­ing a recent two-day oper­a­tion aimed at dis­rupt­ing the ene­my in what his­tor­i­cal­ly had been a Tal­iban safe haven used to stage attacks into Kan­da­har City.

The major­i­ty of the forces par­tic­i­pat­ing in the oper­a­tion were Afghan sol­diers, who led the clear­ance of sev­er­al com­pounds in the Zharay dis­trict.

On July 3, an Afghan team with ISAF part­ners seized 10 Russ­ian-made tank rounds found in the back of an Afghan taxi in Kandahar’s Pagh­man dis­trict.

The same day in Kan­da­har province, a com­bined force stopped a vehi­cle trav­el­ing through the desert between Lashkar Gah and Kan­da­har. After stop­ping the vehi­cle, the dri­ve fled into a near­by com­pound. Afghan per­son­nel ensured all res­i­dents came out of the com­pound safe­ly and pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren before tak­ing the vehicle’s dri­ver into cus­tody. Near­ly 800 pounds of nar­cotics were found in his vehi­cle.

In Ghazni province, anoth­er com­bined force found and dis­abled a road­side bomb July 3. Two men were detained on sus­pi­cion of being involved with the bomb’s con­struc­tion.

On July 1, an Afghan-led patrol came under attack from insur­gents as they entered a remote vil­lage in south­ern Hel­mand. A large num­ber of insur­gents were killed, and the patrol found more than 6 tons of nar­cotics, large weapons caches com­plete with ammu­ni­tion, and bomb con­struc­tion and stor­age facil­i­ties. The nar­cotics were destroyed before they could be sold to fund insur­gent attacks, along with the weapons, ammu­ni­tion, bombs and bomb com­po­nents.

Addi­tion­al­ly, the com­bined force found a Tal­iban deten­tion facil­i­ty and freed and pro­tect­ed 14 Afghan civil­ians while sev­er­al insur­gents were detained.

Ear­ly July 3, the senior Tal­iban com­man­der for Helmand’s Nad-e-Ali dis­trict was killed in a com­bined oper­a­tion. He was known to have planned and con­duct­ed numer­ous bomb­ing attacks against the Afghan peo­ple.

The night of July 3, Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed an insur­gent in Kun­duz province’s Cha­har Darah dis­trict while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der.

The com­bined force also found rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, auto­mat­ic weapons, one road­side bomb ready for use and expend­ed RPGs and emp­ty mor­tar rounds inside a near­by build­ing in the vicin­i­ty of a mosque. To pre­vent the bomb from being used to harm civil­ians and coali­tion forces, the secu­ri­ty force per­formed a con­trolled det­o­na­tion to destroy the weapons cache, which also destroyed the build­ing. The mosque was not dam­aged.

Also on July 3, Afghan police, assist­ed by inter­na­tion­al forces and act­ing on an anony­mous tip, found an anti- per­son­nel mine plant­ed in a soc­cer field in the Khakrez dis­trict of north­ern Kan­da­har province. Police estab­lished secu­ri­ty around the field to ensure the safe­ty of local res­i­dents, and an explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al squad dis­armed the mine and removed it from the soc­cer field.

A sep­a­rate Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent in Zab­ul province July 3 while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der and for­eign-fight­er facil­i­ta­tor respon­si­ble for mov­ing bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als and for­eign fight­ers into the province’s Shah Joy dis­trict from Pak­istan. The com­bined secu­ri­ty force cap­tured the sus­pect­ed insur­gent with­out fir­ing a shot while he was trav­el­ing on a motor­cy­cle.

An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force cap­tured a Tal­iban com­man­der, a facil­i­ta­tor and two oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Nan­garhar province’s Khogyani dis­trict the night of July 2. The com­man­der is direct­ly linked to the Taliban’s reli­gious leader in the dis­trict and assist­ed with a recent influx of Lashkar‑e Tayy­i­ba insur­gents into the province. Lashkar‑e Tayy­i­ba is a Pak­istan-based ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion respon­si­ble for the Novem­ber 2008 attacks in Mum­bai, India. Mul­ti­ple grenades were dis­cov­ered and destroyed at the scene.

The same night, a com­bined force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der in Log­ar province’s Charkh dis­trict. Bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als were found at the scene.

On July 2, a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force stopped a vehi­cle at a check­point in Ghazni province, seiz­ing and destroy­ing 13 107 mm rock­et war­heads.

Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces in Hel­mand cap­tured the Tal­iban dis­trict chief of Now Zad, and killed a large num­ber of insur­gents dur­ing an oper­a­tion in the remote Baghran dis­trict in the north­ern part of the province July 1. The same day, a com­bined force in Log­ar province detained a Tal­iban com­man­der who was respon­si­ble for attacks against inter­na­tion­al forces in and around the province’s Bara­ki Barak dis­trict.

In oth­er news from Afghanistan, offi­cials acknowl­edged that a com­bined force in Kan­da­har province acci­den­tal­ly killed two civil­ians, includ­ing a woman, and wound­ed anoth­er dur­ing an oper­a­tion in search of a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der respon­si­ble for ambush­es, sui­cide bomb­ings and assas­si­na­tions.

The secu­ri­ty force went to a series of com­pounds in the Kan­da­har dis­trict and was engaged by armed indi­vid­u­als. The force detained the Tal­iban sub­com­man­der, killed one insur­gent, and wound­ed anoth­er.

An Afghan man came out of a build­ing dur­ing the oper­a­tion and demon­strat­ed hos­tile intent. He was engaged by the secu­ri­ty force. When the force sub­se­quent­ly secured the com­pound, they found man wound­ed by small-arms fire from the secu­ri­ty force out­side the com­pound. Inside the com­pound, the secu­ri­ty force found the Afghan woman who had been killed and an addi­tion­al Afghan man who was wound­ed.

An ini­tial assess­ment indi­cat­ed that the woman was killed by stray rounds fired from the secu­ri­ty force, offi­cials said. The wound­ed men were evac­u­at­ed for med­ical treat­ment, and one lat­er died.

Afghan and coali­tion forces real­ize inno­cent bystanders’ lives are put at risk when insur­gents delib­er­ate­ly con­duct activ­i­ties with­in their com­mu­ni­ties, ISAF Joint Com­mand offi­cials said, adding that the com­bined force, local elders and gov­ern­ment offi­cials are work­ing togeth­er to review the inci­dent.

“We take acci­dents such as this very seri­ous­ly, and we remain ful­ly com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the peo­ple of Afghanistan and take every pre­cau­tion to pre­vent civil­ian casu­al­ties,” said Navy Capt. Jane Camp­bell, ISAF Joint Com­mand spokes­woman.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es