Afghanistan — Forces in Afghanistan Capture Taliban Commanders

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2010 — Afghan and inter­na­tion­al forces cap­tured two Tal­iban com­man­ders and seized weapons and drugs in recent oper­a­tions, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a senior Tal­iban com­man­der and anoth­er insur­gent in Bagh­lan province’s Baghlan‑e Jadid dis­trict last night. The Tal­iban com­man­der is respon­si­ble for weapons smug­gling, dis­tri­b­u­tion, pass­ing intel­li­gence reports and direct attacks on coali­tion forces, offi­cials said. Sev­er­al weapons were found in the com­pound where he was cap­tured.

In Kan­da­har province’s Kan­da­har dis­trict last night, a com­bined patrol cap­tured a Tal­iban com­man­der respon­si­ble for procur­ing and plant­i­ng road­side bombs and lead­ing ambush­es of coali­tion force con­voys.

An Afghan army patrol found 14 grenades, four rock­et-pro­pelled grenade boost­ers, 40 pull pins, 30 rounds of 12.7mm ammu­ni­tion, and an esti­mat­ed 1,000 rounds of small-arms ammu­ni­tion in Hel­mand province Nad‑e Ali dis­trict yes­ter­day. An Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al team destroyed the cache.

Also in the Nad‑e Ali dis­trict yes­ter­day, an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al patrol found 330 pounds of ammo­ni­um nitrate and an assault rifle with ammu­ni­tion. Ammo­ni­um nitrate is a banned fer­til­iz­er often used in mak­ing road­side bombs.

In Helmand’s Musa Qalah dis­trict yes­ter­day, a com­bined patrol found 165 pounds of ammo­ni­um nitrate, a shot­gun and a .22-cal­iber rifle with scope, along with a sig­nif­i­cant amount of hero­in, hashish and opi­um. Afghan author­i­ties detained a man in con­nec­tion with the dis­cov­ery.

–In oth­er news from Afghanistan, air­crews from the Afghan army air corps and ISAF have locat­ed the wreck­age of the civil­ian Antonov air­craft list­ed as miss­ing May 17. The Afghan crews, fly­ing C‑27 fixed-wing air­craft and Mi-17 heli­copters, flew numer­ous search mis­sions since the plane dis­ap­peared. ISAF sup­port includ­ed intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance assets, fixed-wing manned and unmanned air­craft and sev­er­al heli­copters.

The crash site was first spot­ted on a moun­tain­side at about 13,500 feet in the Shakar Darah dis­trict of Kab­ul province late yes­ter­day and was con­firmed today. Afghan author­i­ties, with ISAF sup­port, are plan­ning recov­ery oper­a­tions based on the high ele­va­tion and rugged ter­rain.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es