Afghanistan — Operations in Afghanistan Net Haqqani, Taliban Leaders

WASHINGTON — Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces cap­tured sev­er­al Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work and Tal­iban lead­ers in Afghanistan this week dur­ing 48 sep­a­rate oper­a­tions, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Clear rules of engage­ment and mea­sures tak­en to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties result­ed in more than 85 per­cent of oper­a­tions con­duct­ed with­out shots fired, offi­cials said, not­ing that the Afghan-led oper­a­tions result­ed in a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of detainees and large num­ber of insur­gents killed.

Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces struck at the Tal­iban lead­er­ship in south­ern Hel­mand province this week, cap­tur­ing two com­man­ders in charge of Tal­iban oper­a­tions in the province’s Germ Ser and Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­tricts. A senior Tal­iban com­man­der and a Tal­iban bomb­ing cell com­man­der also were cap­tured in Kan­da­har. Both were known to con­duct bomb­ing attacks in Kan­da­har City.

Afghan-led forces also con­duct­ed a delib­er­ate clear­ing oper­a­tion over sev­er­al days aimed at dis­rupt­ing the Haqqani network’s free­dom of move­ment in Pak­tia province’s Dzad­ran dis­trict. The area is known as a Haqqani safe haven used to stage attacks in the Afghan cap­i­tal of Kab­ul and the Khost-Gardez Pass, offi­cials said. More than 20 insur­gents were killed dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

“We con­tin­ue to aggres­sive­ly pur­sue known ene­mies of the Afghan peo­ple,” said Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, direc­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Command’s com­bined joint oper­a­tions cen­ter. “The effec­tive oper­a­tions, which are care­ful­ly planned and exe­cut­ed to mit­i­gate civil­ian casu­al­ties, will con­tin­ue to cre­ate the time and space nec­es­sary for endur­ing gov­er­nance and devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives to take root.”

ISAF Joint Com­mand offi­cials pro­vid­ed details on sev­er­al recent oper­a­tions:

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Hel­mand province yes­ter­day while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban com­man­der and mem­ber of the Nawa Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion. The com­man­der is respon­si­ble for deci­sions involv­ing mil­i­tary oper­a­tions and mat­ters of gov­er­nance with­in the Tal­iban-con­trolled areas of the Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­trict.

— In Pak­tia province’s Gardez dis­trict yes­ter­day, an Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor who moved weapons, ammu­ni­tion and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als from Pak­istan to fight­ers oper­at­ing in Afghanistan. –

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Khost province’s Man­duzai dis­trict yes­ter­day, includ­ing a Haqqani sub­com­man­der who sup­plies weapons to oth­er Haqqani com­man­ders oper­at­ing in the area.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents and recov­ered an auto­mat­ic grenade launch­er in Kun­duz province yes­ter­day while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban deputy com­man­der for Cha­har Darah dis­trict. The com­man­der is known to plan attacks against Afghan civil­ians, as well as Afghan and coali­tion forces, and is known to teach local chil­dren how to make road­side bombs. Dur­ing the search, an air weapons team was engaged by ene­my fire from a grenade launch­er. The air weapons team respond­ed to the threat by engag­ing the posi­tion of ori­gin, but the insur­gents fled after they fired the launch­er. The ground force lat­er moved to the loca­tion and recov­ered the grenade launch­er.

— An ISAF heli­copter crew engaged sev­er­al insur­gents who posed an immi­nent threat to an Afghan police patrol in Kunar province’s Nari dis­trict Aug. 11. Dur­ing the engage­ment, a mis­sile mal­func­tioned and hit the sec­ond sto­ry of a build­ing, injur­ing two Afghan civil­ians. Coali­tion forces trans­port­ed one civil­ian to a near­by ISAF med­ical facil­i­ty for treat­ment, and the oth­er wound­ed civil­ian was treat­ed at a near­by for­ward oper­at­ing base aid sta­tion and released. ISAF offi­cials expressed regret for the inci­dent and empha­sized that coali­tion forces make every effort to avoid civil­ian casu­al­ties.

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Kun­duz province’s Cha­har Darah dis­trict Aug. 11 while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban and Haqqani sub­com­man­der who facil­i­tates weapons and bomb and rock­et mate­ri­als.

— Afghan forces cap­tured 18 sus­pect­ed insur­gents, res­cued two civil­ian hostages and seized weapons and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als in the Kan­da­har City’s Mala­jat dis­trict Aug. 9. The Afghan-led mis­sion into the heav­i­ly con­test­ed dis­trict includ­ed sev­er­al hours of heavy fight­ing. Afghan forces dis­cov­ered large weapons caches and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als.

— Close-air sup­port was called in to pro­vide sup­press­ing fire when ISAF forces con­duct­ing oper­a­tions in the Lashkar Gah dis­trict of Hel­mand province came under heavy fire by insur­gents yes­ter­day. Lat­er in the day, wound­ed and dead Afghan civil­ians were brought to a near­by check­point. The wound­ed were imme­di­ate­ly evac­u­at­ed to an ISAF med­ical facil­i­ty. An ISAF-Afghan assess­ment team is inves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that ISAF forces caused civil­ian casu­al­ties.

— An insur­gent road­side bomb killed an Afghan boy in Log­ar province’s Pul-e Alam dis­trict Aug. 11. The child stepped on the bomb while he was herd­ing sheep.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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