Afghanistan — International, Afghan Team Investigates Air Strike

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2010 — A team com­posed of offi­cials from the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand and Afghanistan’s secu­ri­ty forces is work­ing to deter­mine the facts and cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing an oper­a­tion today in which Afghan sol­diers were killed and injured.

Ear­ly this morn­ing in the Andar dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, an ISAF patrol observed a group of indi­vid­u­als thought to be insur­gents. An ISAF air­crew engaged the group with a pre­ci­sion-guid­ed muni­tion and after the engage­ment ISAF learned the indi­vid­u­als were Afghan sol­diers.

“This loss of life is trag­ic, and we offer con­do­lences to all those who lost loved ones,” said Navy Capt. Jane Camp­bell, ISAF Joint Com­mand spokes­woman. “We work extreme­ly hard to coor­di­nate and syn­chro­nize our oper­a­tions, and we deeply regret the loss of lives from our Afghan part­ners.”

In oth­er news from Afghanistan, com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty forces con­duct­ed oper­a­tions in Balkh, Kan­da­har and Nan­garhar provinces last night.

An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed two armed indi­vid­u­als and detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in the Nahr‑e Shahi dis­trict of Balkh province last night. The team was pur­su­ing a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work facil­i­ta­tor report­ed­ly involved in plan­ning upcom­ing attacks in Mazar‑e Sharif, and who has had direct con­tact with senior Haqqani lead­er­ship in Pak­istan.

As Afghan and coali­tion forces began to search the area, they encoun­tered two armed men who dis­played hos­tile intent. The com­bined force instruct­ed the men, through an inter­preter, to lay their weapons on the ground, but they did not com­ply and were killed.

A sep­a­rate Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents out­side Kan­da­har city last night while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der who is a traf­fick­er of weapons and road­side bombs through­out Kan­da­har province.

Anoth­er Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Nan­garhar province’s Khugyani dis­trict last night while pur­su­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der who facil­i­tates for­eign fight­ers in the dis­trict.

The com­man­der had direct con­tact with a Tal­iban com­man­der detained by the secu­ri­ty force July 3. He also was direct­ly linked to the over­all Tal­iban reli­gious leader of Khugyani dis­trict and asso­ci­at­ed with the recent influx of Lashkar‑e Tayy­i­ba ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion oper­a­tives into the province.

Last night in the Yahya Khel dis­trict of Pak­ti­ka province, an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force came under small-arms and rock­et-pro­pelled-grenade fire. After pos­i­tive­ly iden­ti­fy­ing the insur­gents, the com­bined force request­ed air sup­port, and a coali­tion air­craft engaged the insur­gents with a pre­ci­sion-guid­ed muni­tion. Sev­er­al insur­gents were killed, and sev­er­al oth­ers were detained.

The insur­gents fired at the com­bined force from an area near an unmarked mosque, and the win­dows of the unmarked mosque were bro­ken dur­ing the engage­ment. The patrol found six hand grenades, three assault rifles, a sniper rifle, a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade and a book on how to make road­side bombs.

There were no report­ed civil­ian casu­al­ties, and offi­cials from the com­bined force are dis­cussing the inci­dent with local elders and gov­ern­ment offi­cials.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es