Afghanistan — Forces in Afghanistan Kill Taliban, Haqqani Leaders

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2010 — Afghan and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty forces killed a large num­ber of insur­gents, includ­ing sev­er­al key lead­ers for both the Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work and the Tal­iban, in the Jani Khel dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Pak­tia province ear­li­er this week, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed today.

The secu­ri­ty force killed Hamid­dul­lah, a Haqqani net­work com­man­der for the Sabari dis­trict in Khost province. Hamid­dul­lah had direct ties to Haqqani senior lead­ers based in Pak­istan and he report­ed­ly was respon­si­ble for an ambush of an Afghan army unit in March that result­ed in the deaths of three Afghan police offi­cers.

Accord­ing to intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion and local police, news of Hamiddullah’s death is expect­ed to have sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tive effects on the insur­gent net­work oper­at­ing through­out Khost and Pak­tia, offi­cials said.

Ear­li­er this month, Afghan and inter­na­tion­al forces killed a num­ber of Haqqani net­work fight­ers, includ­ing anoth­er Haqqani com­man­der, Fazil Sub­han, in Khost province.

In the recent two-day offen­sive oper­a­tion on the largest insur­gent camp in the area, assault forces also killed Qari Ismael, a Tal­iban leader for Jani Khel dis­trict, and Maulawi Sadiq, a known facil­i­ta­tor for for­eign fight­ers.

After the fight­ing stopped, offi­cials and vil­lage elders report­ed that a large num­ber of for­eign fight­ers, includ­ing Arabs, Uzbeks, Turks and Chechens, were among those killed. Afghan and coali­tion forces also found dozens of auto­mat­ic weapons, mul­ti­ple rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­ers and rounds, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment.

The Haqqani net­work is attempt­ing to estab­lish strong­holds in the Khost-Gardez Pass in the Hin­du Kush Moun­tains of Pak­tia and Khost provinces, offi­cials said. Large num­bers of for­eign fight­ers remain inter­spersed in the ranks of the Tal­iban and Haqqani net­works, and the area is used by insur­gent groups to move sup­plies and for­eign fight­ers into Afghanistan from Pak­istan, they added.

No coali­tion forces were injured or killed despite engage­ment by heav­i­ly armed insur­gents on four dif­fer­ent occa­sions through­out the oper­a­tion.

In an oper­a­tion the night of June 21 in the Afghan cap­i­tal of Kab­ul, Afghan secu­ri­ty forces work­ing with Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force part­ners found more than 11 tons of ammo­ni­um nitrate, a fer­til­iz­er banned by the Afghan gov­ern­ment because it can be used in mak­ing explo­sives.

Autho­rized by Afghanistan’s inte­ri­or min­istry, Afghan spe­cial police sur­round­ed a com­pound hous­ing sev­er­al insur­gents. After ensur­ing all res­i­dents exit­ed safe­ly and arrest­ing the insur­gents, police found the ammo­ni­um nitrate.

Based on a cur­rent ISAF analy­sis, offi­cials said, this dis­cov­ery elim­i­nat­ed more than 500 poten­tial road­side bombs.

In a sep­a­rate action yes­ter­day morn­ing, a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al patrol con­duct­ed an oper­a­tion in Kan­da­har province to dis­rupt a net­work known to sell ille­gal drugs to finance the Tal­iban insur­gency. After sur­round­ing the com­pound of inter­est, Afghan spe­cial police ensured all res­i­dents exit­ed safe­ly. A man was detained, and police seized more than 140 pounds of opi­um.

No civil­ians were injured in either oper­a­tion.

In oth­er news from Afghanistan:

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der in Zab­ul province last night. The secu­ri­ty force found and destroyed auto­mat­ic weapons, rock­et-pro­pelled grenade boost­ers and ammu­ni­tion. No shots were fired, and no one was harmed dur­ing the oper­a­tion. — A sep­a­rate Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force oper­a­tion detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents and found 30 pounds of opi­um in Hel­mand province last night while search­ing for the new­ly appoint­ed Tal­iban deputy shad­ow gov­er­nor for Nawah-ya Barakzai dis­trict. No one was harmed, and the com­bined force pro­tect­ed a num­ber of women and chil­dren dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained the Taliban’s recent­ly appoint­ed chief of finance for Bagh­lan province, along with two oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents, in Hel­mand the night of June 21. The Tal­iban finance chief also is a bomb-mak­ing expert and for­mer dis­trict com­man­der of at least three insur­gent cells in Bagh­lan. No shots were fired, and the com­bined force pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren present dur­ing the search. This oper­a­tion con­tin­ues a string of recent suc­cess­es against Tal­iban net­works in Bagh­lan, offi­cials not­ed. In late May, com­bined forces removed three suc­ces­sive­ly appoint­ed Tal­iban provin­cial shad­ow gov­er­nors for the province. Mul­lah Ruhul­lah was killed along with his deputy on May 14. His replace­ment, Maulawi Jab­bar, was killed along with two Tal­iban com­man­ders on May 28. Three days lat­er, his replace­ment was detained by Afghan and coali­tion forces.

— Also on the night of June 21, com­bined forces act­ing on an Afghan civilian’s tip detained two for­eign fight­ers in Kan­da­har province while pur­su­ing the Dand district’s Tal­iban mil­i­tary com­man­der, who is linked to sui­cide-bomb attacks in the province. No shots were fired, and the com­bined force pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren present dur­ing the search that led to the deten­tion of two Pak­istani men.

— On June 21, a com­bined secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Helmand’s Nawa Barak dis­trict while pur­su­ing a senior Tal­iban com­man­der who oper­ates in the area. The com­man­der is a bomb-attack facil­i­ta­tor and Tal­iban fund rais­er, offi­cials said, and also is sus­pect­ed of involve­ment in sui­cide-bomb attacks.

— Afghan and inter­na­tion­al part­ners con­duct­ed an oper­a­tion in Hel­mand province the night of June 20 to dis­rupt a Tal­iban net­work that sup­plies explo­sives and oth­er mate­ri­als used in road­side bombs. When sev­er­al insur­gents failed to fol­low direc­tions from Afghan spe­cial police and pre­sent­ed a dead­ly threat to the com­bined force, they were killed. Police ensured the remain­ing res­i­dents left the com­pound safe­ly. Women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed, and two men were tak­en into cus­tody. No civil­ians were injured.

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al patrol con­fis­cat­ed more than a ton and a half of unprocessed opi­um and more than 20 pounds of hero­in dur­ing a vehi­cle search June 21 in Helmand’s Garm Ser dis­trict. Two indi­vid­u­als were cap­tured and detained when they fled from the vehi­cle.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es