Afghanistan — Officials Report on Numerous Afghanistan Operations

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2010 — Pre­ci­sion air strikes, a pitched bat­tle with insur­gents in Kunar province and the killing or cap­ture of key ene­my fight­ers high­light recent oper­a­tions in Afghanistan, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

A pre­ci­sion air strike called in by a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed sev­er­al insur­gents, includ­ing a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work road­side-bomb cell leader, while the insur­gents were plant­i­ng a road­side bomb in Khost province last night.

After inter­na­tion­al forces con­firmed insur­gent activ­i­ty and that no civil­ians were at risk, they called for the air strike as the ter­ror­ist cell mem­bers were plant­i­ng the bomb on a main route in the province’s Matun dis­trict. Fol­low­ing the air strike, an Afghan and inter­na­tion­al ground force went to the site and found mul­ti­ple road­side bombs and weapons, as well as the cell leader and sev­er­al mem­bers of his cell killed by the pre­ci­sion strike.

In Log­ar province last night, an Afghan and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor who active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in road­side-bomb attacks through­out the province’s Bara­ki Barak dis­trict. The facil­i­ta­tor also is linked to mor­tar attacks against For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Shank, about six miles from where he was cap­tured.

The secu­ri­ty force went to a series of com­pounds in the province’s Pul-e Alam dis­trict to search the area. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all every­one to come out­side, and then cleared the com­pounds, detain­ing the facil­i­ta­tor. No shots were fired, and women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed by the com­bined secu­ri­ty force through­out the search. Afghan forces work­ing with Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force part­ners res­cued two Afghan Nation­al Police offi­cers in Ghazni province yes­ter­day. The police offi­cers had been held hostage for almost a week. As the com­bined force approached the com­pound where the offi­cers were being held, sev­er­al insur­gents were seen flee­ing. The com­bined force res­cued both offi­cers with­out fir­ing a shot.

In Kan­da­har province yes­ter­day, an Afghan patrol found a large weapons cache dur­ing a search of a com­pound. The cache con­tained 13 home­made bombs, about 10 pounds of explo­sive mate­r­i­al, five artillery rounds and more than 1,700 rounds of small-arms ammu­ni­tion.

An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed a Tal­iban com­man­der and sev­er­al armed indi­vid­u­als in Kan­da­har last night. The Tal­iban com­man­der, Shys­ter Uhstad Khan, took over the duties of senior Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor after his pre­de­ces­sor was detained by Afghan and coali­tion forces ear­li­er this year. He was involved in the dis­tri­b­u­tion and pur­chase of road­side bombs.

The Afghan-led secu­ri­ty force went to a com­pound out­side Kan­da­har City to search the area and was imme­di­ate­ly engaged by hos­tile fire. Afghan and coali­tion forces returned fire and killed sev­er­al armed indi­vid­u­als, includ­ing Khan. After secur­ing the com­pound, the com­bined force detained a sus­pect who is believed to have direct con­tact with senior Tal­iban mem­bers near the Afghan cap­i­tal of Kab­ul and to facil­i­tate deliv­ery of bomb com­po­nents to Kab­ul. No dam­age was done to the com­pound, and sev­er­al women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the search, offi­cials said.

A com­bined force of more than 600 Afghan and ISAF forces was con­duct­ing oper­a­tions against al-Qae­da and Tal­iban insur­gents in Kunar province yes­ter­day. Ear­ly reports said a num­ber of insur­gents had been killed in the oper­a­tion against al-Qai­da and Tal­iban lead­er­ship in the area.

The com­bined force took pre­cau­tions to pre­vent col­lat­er­al dam­age, and ISAF had no reports yes­ter­day of injuries to civil­ians dur­ing the bat­tle, which was ongo­ing at last report. On June 26, An Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force killed a num­ber of insur­gents with a pre­ci­sion air strike in Kun­duz province’s Cha­har Darah dis­trict. The Kun­duz police chief and nation­al secu­ri­ty direc­torate sources report­ed that a Tal­iban com­man­der who was a senior for­eign-fight­er and weapons facil­i­ta­tor was among those killed in the strike, mil­i­tary offi­cials said. The com­man­der coor­di­nat­ed logis­ti­cal sup­port and oper­a­tions with the Taliban’s Pak­istan for­eign-fight­er cell lead­er­ship, and for­mer­ly was in charge of the Tal­iban in the Gor Tap­pa region, before step­ping into an advi­so­ry role.

The air strike wound­ed two addi­tion­al insur­gents, who were dri­ven to a local hos­pi­tal by anoth­er sus­pect­ed Tal­iban insur­gent. All three are now in the cus­tody of the nation­al secu­ri­ty direc­torate.

After ver­i­fy­ing insur­gent activ­i­ty and con­duct­ing care­ful plan­ning to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties and mit­i­gate col­lat­er­al dam­age, offi­cials said, coali­tion air­craft were called in for the pre­ci­sion air strike against the insur­gents, who were meet­ing at a field in an unpop­u­lat­ed area of the dis­trict.

Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq Yaqubi, Kun­duz police chief, con­firmed the air strike in the Tal­iban safe-haven area of Bagh-i-Shirkat on the out­skirts of the provin­cial cap­i­tal, Kun­duz City. Provin­cial gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship expressed sup­port for the oper­a­tion and rec­og­nized the com­bined force’s efforts to avoid civil­ian causal­i­ties. No civil­ians were harmed dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

Also on June 26, an Afghan-led com­bined force searched a com­pound in Uruz­gan province’s Khas Uruz­gan dis­trict and seized a weapons cache that includ­ed 190 rock­et-pro­pelled grenade boost­ers, 81 rock­et-pro­pelled grenade rounds, 30 cas­es of machine-gun ammu­ni­tion, 20 hand grenade fus­es, 15 hand grenades; 14 82 mm recoil­less rifle rounds, a machine gun with 10 replace­ment bar­rels and a flare gun.

Afghan forces with ISAF part­ners con­duct­ed mul­ti­ple oper­a­tions in the west­ern and south­ern provinces of Afghanistan on June 25.

In Farah province, an Afghan-led com­bined force searched a com­pound in the Karez-e Jamal Zal vil­lage and seized a weapons cache that includ­ed six rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, a mor­tar round and var­i­ous bomb com­po­nents. Sev­er­al sus­pects were detained, and women and chil­dren in the com­pound were pro­tect­ed by the com­bined force.

In the Rig Desert of Kan­da­har province, a com­bined force led by Afghan spe­cial police inter­dict­ed nar­cotics smug­glers to dis­rupt insur­gent fund­ing gained through the sale of ille­gal nar­cotics. Two men were tak­en into police cus­tody. The police con­fis­cat­ed a shot­gun, an assault rifle and almost 2,900 pounds of opi­um, all of which was destroyed on site.

On the night of June 25, a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force killed the senior Tal­iban com­man­der in north­ern Log­ar province. Intel­li­gence sources tracked Ghu­lam Sakhi to a com­pound in the Pul-e Alam dis­trict, where the com­bined force went to appre­hend him. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er and called for women and chil­dren to come out of the build­ing. As they were exit­ing, Sakhi came out with the group dis­guised in women’s attire. He pulled out a pis­tol and a grenade and shot at the secu­ri­ty force. When Afghan and coali­tion forces shot him, he dropped the grenade, which det­o­nat­ed, wound­ing a woman and two chil­dren. The assault force imme­di­ate­ly evac­u­at­ed the wound­ed for med­ical care.

Sakhi, who is known by sev­er­al alias­es, was involved in road­side-bomb attacks, ambush­es and indi­rect-fire attacks through­out the province. He also kid­napped and killed a nation­al secu­ri­ty direc­torate chief in Log­ar province.

After secur­ing the com­pound, the assault force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents for ques­tion­ing.

Also on the night of June 25, a com­bined Afghan-inter­na­tion­al force killed sev­er­al insur­gents with a pre­ci­sion air strike in Zab­ul province in con­tin­u­ing oper­a­tions aimed at dis­man­tling bomb­ing cells oper­at­ing in the province’s Mizan and Tar­nak Wa Jal­dak dis­tricts.

The com­bined secu­ri­ty force ver­i­fied insur­gent activ­i­ty, and after care­ful plan­ning in order to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties and mit­i­gate col­lat­er­al dam­age, called in the air strike on the insur­gents in a remote area in the Tar­nak Wa Jal­dak dis­trict.

After the air strike, the com­bined secu­ri­ty force found and destroyed bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als found at the scene.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es