Afghanistan — Forces Kill Key Terrorist in Afghanistan Firefight

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2010 — A com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed a key al-Qai­da leader and sev­er­al oth­er ene­my fight­ers in a fierce gun bat­tle in Afghanistan’s Pak­tia province this morn­ing, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

The al-Qai­da leader was the tar­get in the oper­a­tion, offi­cials said.

The com­bined force went to a com­pound in a rur­al area in the Zor­mat dis­trict after intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion ver­i­fied mil­i­tant activ­i­ty. As the assault force approached the com­pound, it came under heavy fire and killed sev­er­al attack­ers with return fire.

Armed men ran from the com­pound and fired upon pur­su­ing mem­bers of the com­bined force, who returned fire and killed them.

Dur­ing a search of the com­pound, the assault force found a Chi­nese recoil­less rifle with 25 rounds of ammu­ni­tion, mul­ti­ple rock­et-pro­pelled-grenade launch­ers and rounds, 20 mor­tar rounds and mul­ti­ple auto­mat­ic rifles and grenades. The assault force also pro­tect­ed sev­er­al women and chil­dren from harm, offi­cials said.

In oth­er recent oper­a­tions in Afghanistan:

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force destroyed a road­side-bomb fac­to­ry and detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent in Kan­da­har province last night. Pre­ci­sion weapons were used to destroy the build­ing.

— A Tal­iban bomb-attack facil­i­ta­tor and anoth­er insur­gent were cap­tured by an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force in the Barak dis­trict of Log­ar province last night.

— An Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force patrol found a fresh­ly dug weapons cache at a con­struc­tion site in Nim­roz province’s Khash Rod dis­trict yes­ter­day. The cache con­sist­ed of a num­ber of mor­tars, rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, anti-tank and anti-per­son­nel mines and artillery shells.

— An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force found 58 152 mm artillery shells in Nim­roz province’s Shin­dand dis­trict yes­ter­day.

— Afghan forces with ISAF part­ners in Hel­mand province arrest­ed a Tal­iban fight­er known to have tak­en part in attacks against ISAF forces and to have recruit­ed for the Tal­iban in a com­bined oper­a­tion May 23. Afghan Spe­cial Police ensured all occu­pants left the com­pound safe­ly. Sev­er­al men were detained, and the com­bined force seized a small amount of nar­cotics and an assault rifle. Sev­er­al women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the oper­a­tion, in which no civil­ians were injured, offi­cials said.

In oth­er news, Afghan army com­man­dos, advised and assist­ed by U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces, con­duct­ed com­bat and human­i­tar­i­an oper­a­tions in Zab­ul province’s Arghandab dis­trict May 23.

While enter­ing the farm­ing vil­lage of Gar­nay, the com­bined force was engaged by and killed two insur­gent fight­ers. A search of the insur­gents and their motor­cy­cle sad­dle bags yield­ed five assault rifle ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines, 150 rounds of machine gun ammu­ni­tion and two hand grenades.

A fur­ther search of the vil­lage result­ed in dis­cov­ery of three motor­cy­cles with sad­dle bags con­tain­ing sev­en assault-rifle mag­a­zines, three tac­ti­cal vests and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als. In a sep­a­rate loca­tion, Afghan sol­diers, assist­ed by U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces, entered the farm­ing vil­lage of Bolan, locat­ed south­east of Gar­nay and received small-arms fire from mul­ti­ple loca­tions. The com­bined force con­tin­ued to receive small-arms fire spo­rad­i­cal­ly through­out the day.

Dur­ing a search of the vil­lage, Afghan sol­diers found a cache con­tain­ing an infantry rifle, 200 rounds of ammu­ni­tion and var­i­ous bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als.

No civil­ian injuries or col­lat­er­al dam­age were report­ed dur­ing these oper­a­tions, offi­cials said.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es