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