Afghanistan — Officials Confirm Capture of Insurgent Leader

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2010 — A senior insur­gent leader believed to be respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing the move­ment of fight­ers across three provinces in Afghanistan was cap­tured by Afghan-led secu­ri­ty forces, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed today.

The Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force con­firmed the cap­ture of a Haqqani net­work facil­i­ta­tor linked to the move­ment of fight­ers through­out Khost, Pak­tiya and Pak­ti­ka provinces. The facil­i­ta­tor was cap­tured Aug. 29 dur­ing an Afghan-led secu­ri­ty force oper­a­tion in Khost province.

Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ed a remote series of com­pounds north of Ziarat-e Bad in Khost dis­trict to search for the facil­i­ta­tor. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the com­pounds peace­ful­ly and then secured the area. After ques­tion­ing all the res­i­dents at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force detained the facil­i­ta­tor and four of his asso­ciates.

The secu­ri­ty force did not fire weapons and pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

“The Haqqani network’s vio­lent and immoral tac­tics will be stopped,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, the direc­tor of ISAF’s Joint Com­mand Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter. “Afghan and coali­tion forces will con­tin­ue tar­get­ing and dis­man­tling this ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.” In Aug. 30 news:

— Afghan secu­ri­ty forces and U.S. sol­diers from Task Force Bas­togne con­duct­ed a major air assault in the vil­lage of Omar, in the Mono­gai dis­trict of Kunar province. Since the oper­a­tion began, Afghan and coali­tion forces have killed 19 insur­gents and cap­tured five oth­ers. Two of the detained insur­gents, who were wound­ed in the oper­a­tion, were treat­ed and released into Afghan police cus­tody along with one insur­gent who was not wound­ed. Two oth­er insur­gents are receiv­ing med­ical care at coali­tion bases. Dur­ing the assault, the joint force dis­cov­ered numer­ous insur­gent fight­ing posi­tions, weapons caches, and stock­piles of ammu­ni­tion with­in the vil­lage. Local vil­lagers in the area coop­er­at­ed ful­ly with the Afghan-led forces.

“This oper­a­tion shows the true strength of the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces,” said Lt. Col. Joseph A. Ryan, com­man­der, 1st Bat­tal­ion, 327th Infantry Reg­i­ment, that’s part of TF Bas­togne.

— Coali­tion forces con­duct­ed a pre­ci­sion air strike in Kan­da­har province, tar­get­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der respon­si­ble for direct­ing impro­vised explo­sive device attacks against Afghan civil­ians, as well as Afghan and coali­tion forces. The com­man­der also coor­di­nates the move­ment of sup­plies and fight­ers through­out the province. Intel­li­gence tracked three Tal­iban insur­gents to an open, unpop­u­lat­ed field in Zharay dis­trict. After care­ful plan­ning to ensure no civil­ians were present, coali­tion air­craft engaged the insur­gents. Offi­cials believe the air strike killed two of the insur­gents and wound­ed the oth­er.

— A com­bined Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Haqqani net­work sub­com­man­der in charge of an insur­gent cell respon­si­ble for the facil­i­ta­tion of weapons and sup­plies for area fight­ers, along with some of his asso­ciates in Khost province. He also is believed to have coor­di­nat­ed and con­duct­ed IED attacks. Act­ing on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound south of the vil­lage of Wardagano Kelay in Sabari dis­trict. Afghan sol­diers used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to peace­ful­ly exit the build­ings and then secured the area. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing on the scene, the assault force iden­ti­fied and detained the sub­com­man­der and addi­tion­al insur­gents. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire weapons and pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al insur­gents in Kan­da­har province, includ­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der who coor­di­nat­ed weapons move­ments and IED and direct-fire attacks on Afghan civil­ians, as well as Afghan and coali­tion forces. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound in the vil­lage of Jelawur in Arghandab dis­trict. Afghan sol­diers used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the build­ings peace­ful­ly and then secured the area. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing on the scene, the assault force detained the com­man­der and three of his asso­ciates for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire weapons and pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

— Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces detained two insur­gents in Kun­duz province in their pur­suit of an al-Qai­da-affil­i­at­ed extrem­ist linked to sev­er­al insur­gent groups in the area, includ­ing the Islam­ic Move­ment of Uzbek­istan and the Tal­iban. The extrem­ist was recent­ly forced to leave his safe haven in Pak­istan and moved to Takhar province with sev­er­al al-Qai­da mem­bers. The assault force tar­get­ed a series of com­pounds in Kun­duz City in pur­suit of the al-Qai­da oper­a­tive. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit each of the com­pounds peace­ful­ly and then secured the areas. After ques­tion­ing res­i­dents at the scene, the secu­ri­ty force detained two insur­gents. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire weapons and pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al insur­gents in Ghazni province, includ­ing a Tal­iban sub­com­man­der who led an IED attack cell. The com­man­der recent­ly returned from Pak­istan where he was train­ing new recruits how to make IEDs. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a series of com­pounds in the vil­lage of Nuri Kala in Andar dis­trict. Afghan sol­diers used a loud­speak­er to call for the com­man­der and the rest of the occu­pants to exit the build­ings peace­ful­ly. After an exten­sive search, the com­man­der was found hid­ing in an oven, breath­ing through a tube. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing on the scene, the assault force iden­ti­fied and detained the sub­com­man­der along with sev­er­al of his asso­ciates for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. The secu­ri­ty force also found auto­mat­ic weapons, pis­tols and grenades along with IED com­po­nents. The secu­ri­ty force did not fire weapons and pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren dur­ing the search.

— A joint Afghan and ISAF patrol came under small-arms fire from mul­ti­ple fir­ing points, one of which was a mosque, in the Nad ‘Ali dis­trict of Hel­mand province. Act­ing in self-defense, Afghan and coali­tion forces returned fire at the insur­gents, caus­ing them to flee the mosque. The com­bined force made all efforts to avoid dam­ag­ing the mosque. Fol­low­ing the inci­dent, the force deter­mined a win­dow frame in the mosque received minor dam­age. Afghan and coali­tion forces met with the mosque own­er, who will be com­pen­sat­ed by secu­ri­ty forces for the minor dam­age to the win­dow frame. The mosque own­er told Afghan and coali­tion forces that he under­stood they had no oth­er option but to return fire in self defense. The own­er also said he will tell all oth­ers who use the mosque the truth of the inci­dent at the next prayer ses­sion. Dur­ing the assess­ment of the dam­age, the Afghan and secu­ri­ty patrol con­tin­ued to receive fire from sev­er­al fir­ing points. The secu­ri­ty force plans to return to the area to con­duct a local shu­ra, or meet­ing, regard­ing the inci­dent.

— A dis­trict sub­gov­er­nor was killed and four of his body­guards were wound­ed when a vehi­cle-borne IED det­o­nat­ed out­side of the governor’s palace in the Jalal­abad dis­trict of Nan­garhar province. Say­eed Mohamed Pali­wan, the sub­gov­er­nor of La’l Por dis­trict, was killed as a result of the blast, accord­ing to offi­cial reports. “Our thoughts and con­cerns are with the fam­i­lies of the deceased and wound­ed dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Garza, deputy chief of staff for joint oper­a­tions, Head­quar­ters ISAF Joint Com­mand. “This killing of a gov­ern­ment offi­cial is sense­less.” Afghan Nation­al Police and ISAF troops imme­di­ate­ly respond­ed to the scene. Ini­tial reports indi­cate the IED was attached to the bot­tom of the subgovernor’s vehi­cle.

“This is a fla­grant act, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the con­text of reli­gion and in the con­text of the nor­mal codes of con­duct,” Garza said. “I can assure the ene­mies of Afghanistan that we will pur­sue those respon­si­ble and we will con­tin­ue to set the con­di­tions to pro­tect the Afghan peo­ple and pro­vide a secure envi­ron­ment for sus­tain­able [gov­ern­ment of Afghanistan]-led peace.”

Source:
From an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Release

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