Afghanistan — Officials Confirm Terrorist Leader’s Capture

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2010 — Offi­cials from NATO’s Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force in Afghanistan today con­firmed the iden­ti­ty of a Haqqani net­work leader cap­tured yes­ter­day in Khost province, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.
Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured the insur­gent in the province’s Bak dis­trict after sur­round­ing his com­pound there. He is believed respon­si­ble for traf­fick­ing and emplac­ing impro­vised explo­sive devices. Secu­ri­ty forces detained him and two oth­er sus­pects with­out inci­dent. Troops also con­fis­cat­ed sev­er­al auto­mat­ic weapons, small arms ammu­ni­tion and drugs.

In oth­er oper­a­tions yes­ter­day:

— Afghan and coali­tion forces thwart­ed two poten­tial car bomb­ings in Hel­mand province’s Wash­er dis­trict. Tips from local res­i­dents led secu­ri­ty forces to a route they believed the bombers would be trav­el­ing. Forces stopped the first vehi­cle, detain­ing one sus­pect. How­ev­er, anoth­er sus­pect in the vehi­cle refused to get out and det­o­nat­ed the bomb, tak­ing his own life. Troops encoun­tered the sec­ond vehi­cle some­time lat­er. Two sus­pects exit­ed the vehi­cle and began shoot­ing at secu­ri­ty forces. Troops returned fire, wound­ing one. The oth­er escaped in a near­by field.

— Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured a Tal­iban leader active in north­ern Ghazni and west­ern War­dak provinces dur­ing an oper­a­tion in War­dak. The tar­get­ed man con­duct­ed IED and ambush oper­a­tions tar­get­ing Afghan and coali­tion forces. He also intim­i­dat­ed Afghan civil­ians into not vot­ing. The secu­ri­ty force fol­lowed intel­li­gence reports to a remote com­pound in Sayyid­abad dis­trict to search for the leader.

Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the com­pound peace­ful­ly before mov­ing to clear the build­ing. Dur­ing ini­tial clear­ance, an armed insur­gent attempt­ed to fire his weapon at the assault force. The assault force respond­ed, killing the insur­gent. After the area was secure, the assault force con­duct­ed ini­tial ques­tion­ing before iden­ti­fy­ing and detain­ing the leader along with two of his asso­ciates. The secu­ri­ty force also found mul­ti­ple auto­mat­ic weapons and grenades at the scene.

Also yes­ter­day, Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ed Tal­iban lead­er­ship dur­ing two oper­a­tions in south­ern Afghanistan detain­ing sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents. The forces con­tin­ued efforts to secure major trav­el routes dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in Zab­ul province where the team detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed Tal­iban mem­bers as they tar­get­ed a man for plac­ing IEDs along High­way 1 in the Shah Joy dis­trict. High­way 1 is a key link con­nect­ing many of south­ern Afghanistan’s provinces.

The oper­a­tion was one of many in the past month focus­ing on IED oper­a­tions in the Zab­ul area. Com­bined forces shot and killed a key Tal­iban leader Nov. 21 and detained a key IED cell leader Nov. 22 who also tar­get­ed the route. Forces fol­lowed leads to a tar­get­ed loca­tion in the Qalat dis­trict where Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call all occu­pants to exit the build­ings peace­ful­ly before con­duct­ing a search. The secu­ri­ty team deter­mined the men would be detained based on ini­tial ques­tion­ing at the scene.

A sep­a­rate secu­ri­ty team detained two sus­pects in an IED net­work in Kan­da­har province while tar­get­ing a sus­pect asso­ci­at­ed with sev­er­al cen­tral Kan­da­har Tal­iban lead­ers. Forces fol­lowed leads to a tar­get­ed loca­tion in Kan­da­har city, where Afghan forces con­duct­ed a call­out before con­duct­ing a search.

The secu­ri­ty team deter­mined the men would be detained based on ini­tial ques­tion­ing at the scene. No women or chil­dren were injured or detained dur­ing these oper­a­tions, and no shots were fired.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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