Afghanistan — Grenade Thrown From Mosque Wounds 4 ISAF Troops

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2010 — Four Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force ser­vice­mem­bers were wound­ed in east­ern Afghanistan on Aug. 16 by a grenade thrown from a mosque, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed today.

ISAF and Afghan forces were con­duct­ing a part­nered patrol in War­dak province’s Sayyid­abad dis­trict when the grenade was thrown, and they did not return fire. Afghan sol­diers took the lead and searched the mosque and sur­round­ing area, but no insur­gents were found at the site.

The ISAF ser­vice­mem­bers did not enter the mosque, offi­cials said, and the wound­ed were tak­en to an ISAF facil­i­ty for treat­ment.

In anoth­er Aug. 16 oper­a­tion, mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence sources and tips from Afghan cit­i­zens led coali­tion forces to res­cue 27 Afghan men who were held pris­on­er ille­gal­ly by the Tal­iban in a makeshift prison com­pound near Musa Qaleh in Hel­mand province. The tar­get­ed com­pound was asso­ci­at­ed with a San­gin-based Tal­iban com­man­der.

Insur­gents began fir­ing at com­bined forces imme­di­ate­ly upon their arrival. Dur­ing the sub­se­quent engage­ment, 13 insur­gents were killed when they refused to lay down their weapons. Afghan forces then used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to come out of the build­ings while com­bined forces secured the area.

Dur­ing the search of the com­pound, the com­bined forces dis­cov­ered 27 men who were shack­led and appeared to have been tor­tured. The men were tak­en to an ISAF base for med­ical screen­ing and debrief­ing. Offi­cials from the Afghan inte­ri­or min­istry and ISAF forces are iden­ti­fy­ing the men and deter­min­ing their sta­tus. Numer­ous weapons were also dis­cov­ered in the com­pound. No civil­ians were hurt in the oper­a­tion.

ISAF Joint Com­mand offi­cials also pro­vid­ed details on numer­ous recent oper­a­tions in Afghanistan. In Hel­mand province:

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in the remote Mar­ja dis­trict Aug. 16 in their con­tin­ued pur­suit of a Nawah-ye Barakzai Tal­iban leader that ISAF offi­cials believe to be the act­ing dis­trict com­man­der of the Nawa Tal­iban net­work, a posi­tion he like­ly assumed after the cap­ture of sev­er­al mem­bers of this net­work since May. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force killed a Tal­iban insur­gent and detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in the Lashkar Gah dis­trict Aug. 16 while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban com­man­der who prof­its from the traf­fick­ing of weapons, mon­ey, equip­ment, and bomb com­po­nents for a Pak­istani-based net­work that oper­ates in Kan­da­har province’s Mai­wand dis­trict. The Tal­iban com­man­der and his fight­ers also con­duct attacks along Afghanistan’s only major com­mer­cial high­way, High­way 1, which runs through Lashkar Gah and Mai­wand dis­tricts and is the main route used by civil­ians. Dur­ing the search that led to the deten­tion of sev­en sus­pects, the secu­ri­ty force found a large amount of cannabis plants sur­round­ing the tar­get­ed com­pound, as well as large piles of dried pop­pies. As the secu­ri­ty force was leav­ing the area, an armed insur­gent was shot and killed when he was seen maneu­ver­ing on the depart­ing force and show­ing hos­tile intent. The secu­ri­ty force pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

ISAF offi­cials con­firmed the cap­ture of a senior Tal­iban com­man­der and mem­ber of the Nawa Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion who was respon­si­ble for deci­sions involv­ing mil­i­tary oper­a­tions and mat­ters of gov­er­nance with­in the Tal­iban-con­trolled areas of Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­trict. He was among sev­er­al sus­pect­ed Tal­iban insur­gents detained dur­ing an Aug. 16 Afghan and coali­tion force oper­a­tion.

In Kan­da­har province:

— Coali­tion forces con­duct­ed a pre­ci­sion air strike Aug. 16, killing a Tal­iban com­man­der who planned and coor­di­nat­ed bomb­ing attacks against Afghan civil­ians and Afghan and coali­tion forces. The com­man­der also facil­i­tat­ed the trans­porta­tion of weapons and mil­i­tary mate­r­i­al for his fight­ers. After pos­i­tive­ly iden­ti­fy­ing the com­man­der and care­ful­ly plan­ning to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties, coali­tion forces con­duct­ed the strike in a rur­al field far from civil­ian vil­lages in the Arghandab dis­trict. A fol­low-on ground force went to the site and ver­i­fied the com­man­der was killed. No civil­ians were wound­ed or killed in the strike.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces killed 10 Tal­iban insur­gents in the Pan­jwai dis­trict Aug. 16 while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban com­man­der respon­si­ble for arrang­ing weapons deliv­er­ies and set­tling allo­ca­tion dis­putes. As the secu­ri­ty force approached the tar­get­ed com­pound, a group of insur­gents ran from the com­pound in var­i­ous direc­tions. While a ground force pur­sued the insur­gents, an air weapons team engaged them after they were declared an immi­nent threat toward the assault force, killing six insur­gents. Inside the tar­get­ed com­pound, the rest of the secu­ri­ty force found and destroyed a large weapons cache. No women or chil­dren were present in the build­ing. As the secu­ri­ty force pre­pared to depart the area, a group of four insur­gents engaged them. The air weapons team engaged the insur­gents, killing them.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces oper­at­ing in the Arghandab dis­trict were attacked with small-arms fire by insur­gents yes­ter­day. After pos­i­tive­ly iden­ti­fy­ing the insur­gents, the com­bined force returned fire. An Afghan civil­ian caught in the cross­fire while irri­gat­ing a crop field was killed. Coali­tion forces plan to meet with local elders to dis­cuss the inci­dent, which is under inves­ti­ga­tion.

In Khost province:

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in the remote Sabari dis­trict Aug. 16, includ­ing a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work facil­i­ta­tor respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing the move­ment of muni­tions and sup­plies into his area. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search. In Nan­garhar province:

— Two insur­gents were killed and sev­er­al oth­ers were detained by an Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force in the Surkh Rod dis­trict Aug. 16 dur­ing the con­tin­ued pur­suit of a Tal­iban bomb expert who spe­cial­izes in dual-tone mul­ti­fre­quen­cy devices and is linked to at least two attacks. As the force approached the tar­get­ed com­pound, they imme­di­ate­ly received ene­my fire from mul­ti­ple loca­tions. The assault force killed two of the ene­my fight­ers and dis­armed a third, who was tak­en into coali­tion cus­tody along with sev­er­al oth­ers. Women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the oper­a­tion.

In Pak­tia province:

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed Tal­iban insur­gents in the Zur­mat dis­trict Aug. 16 while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der who is a high­ly active bomb expert. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search.

In Par­wan province:

— Coali­tion forces recov­ered a muni­tions cache in the Bagram dis­trict Aug. 15. An explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al team recov­ered the muni­tions cache, which includ­ed more than 50 rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, and safe­ly trans­port­ed it to Bagram Air­field.

In Zab­ul province:

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Aug. 16 while in pur­suit of a cross-dis­trict Tal­iban com­man­der and facil­i­ta­tor oper­at­ing in the Shah Joy and Gelan dis­tricts in neigh­bor­ing Ghazni province. The com­man­der is bomb expert who spe­cial­izes in the facil­i­ta­tion, con­struc­tion and place­ment of road­side bombs and also is linked to vehi­cle-borne bomb attacks. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search.

In oth­er news, an Afghan civil­ian was killed and anoth­er was injured in a road­side-bomb blast in Kandahar’s Zharay dis­trict yes­ter­day. Also yes­ter­day, a man and a 4-year-old boy were killed and a woman was wound­ed when their vehi­cle struck a road­side bomb in Heart province’s Shin­dand dis­trict.

The wound­ed woman -– the boy’s grand­moth­er — was car­ried into a com­bat out­post for treat­ment by U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces med­ical per­son­nel. The med­ical staff pro­vid­ed imme­di­ate med­ical treat­ment and request­ed a heli­copter to trans­fer the injured woman to a med­ical facil­i­ty for fol­low-on care.

Recent data released by the inde­pen­dent Afghan Rights Mon­i­tor esti­mates that insur­gent actions have caused 1,074 civil­ian deaths this year.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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