WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2010 — Numerous insurgents were killed or captured in recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.
In Baghlan province:
— Afghan and coalition forces conducted a combined operation yesterday targeting two Taliban commanders known to lead insurgent attacks on Afghan and coalition forces. Numerous armed insurgents moved to target the combined force, which immediately engaged the insurgents. Further insurgent activity throughout the operation caused several more engagements. In all, 12 insurgent fighters were killed. The combined force found and destroyed a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, several RPGs and several boxes of small-arms ammunition at the scene. No civilians were injured or killed.
— Afghan and coalition members on a combined mission detained a Taliban commander and two additional suspected commanders Aug. 20. The operation in the Pul‑e Khumri district was carried out after International Security Assistance Force servicemembers received a tip the commander was hiding in a nearby village. While the Afghan forces were apprehending the three people, they also disarmed three men who were attempting to acquire weapons from within the house. During the encounter, a man went to the roof and pointed a weapon at the combined patrol, which returned fire. After the firing stopped, members of the patrol were unable to locate the person firing from the roof. Insurgents again fired on the force with small-arms fire from a tree line several minutes later, but the firing stopped after the force returned fire.
In Farah province:
— An Afghan and coalition force pursued a Taliban facilitator known to traffic foreign fighters and weapons from Iran and to associate with senior Taliban and al-Qaida leadership. Six insurgents were killed and several suspected insurgents were detained in the operation. During the engagement, the air weapons team struck the targeted individual’s vehicle, which subsequently exploded. The security force conducted a follow-on investigation and assessed the vehicle may have been full of homemade explosives. A woman and two children were found dead at the scene as a result of the coalition force engagement. ISAF officials expressed regret for the civilian casualties, offered condolences to the families, and announced an investigation into the incident would take place.
In Helmand province:
— An Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected insurgents in the Lashkar Gah district Aug. 20 while in pursuit of a Taliban commander responsible for attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces in an area heavy with constant Taliban attacks. The assault force found multiple blasting caps, manuals on mines and a shotgun at the scene. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
— Also in the Laskar Gah district Aug. 20, Afghan and coalition searching for the same Taliban facilitator detained several suspected insurgents in a separate operation. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
In Kandahar province:
Clearing operations continued as an Afghan and coalition security force detain six suspected insurgents yesterday while in pursuit of a Taliban commander in charge of bombing attacks and training in Arghandab district. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the searches.
— An Afghan and coalition force detained several suspected insurgents in the Arghandab district Aug. 21, including a Taliban commander involved in ambushes, bombing attacks and the acquisition of weapons and munitions. The security force targeted two Taliban commanders at a series of compounds in a district village. At the first compound, the security force identified and detained one of the targeted commanders and three additional suspected insurgents. The security force then moved to another compound nearby in pursuit of another Taliban commander and weapons expert who served as the chief of staff for senior Taliban commander who was killed in a coalition precision air strike last week. The security force detained three suspected insurgents for further questioning and also found a hand grenade at the scene. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the searches.
— Also in the Arghandab district, an Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents Aug. 20 while in pursuit of a Taliban commander involved in ambushes, bombing attacks and the acquisition of weapons and munitions. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
In Kunduz province:
— In the Chahar Darah district Aug. 20, an Afghan and coalition security force went to a series of compounds to search for the Taliban district commander for Aliabad, who is directly involved in the planning of attacks against coalition forces. As the security force approached the first targeted building, two armed insurgents were shot and killed when they engaged them from a nearby ditch. After the area was secure, Afghan and coalition forces went arrested three suspected insurgents at two separate compounds. The security force protected women and children throughout the search.
In Logar province:
— A combined Afghan and coalition force detained a suspected insurgent last night while in pursuit of the Taliban deputy district commander for the Pul‑e Alam district. The security force also found bomb-making materials and ammunition at the scene. The security force did not fire their weapons, and it protected women and children throughout the search.
In Nangarhar province:
— Coalition forces conducted a precision air strike Aug. 21, targeting a Taliban subcommander in charge of about 10 fighters and facilitation of foreign fighters from Pakistan to Nangarhar. Afghan and coalition forces tracked the commander as he met with at least 25 insurgents armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades in Deh Bala district to plan an upcoming attack. The commander and a group of 15 insurgents eventually broke from the group and began walking toward an insurgent camp. After positively identifying the commander and ensuring no women or children were present, coalition forces conducted the precision air strike against the commander. ISAF officials are gathering information to determine exactly how many insurgents were killed in the strike. The security force estimated the strike killed about 12 insurgents, possibly including multiple Pakistani fighters from Waziristan as well as Taliban fighters. No civilians were wounded or killed.
In Paktia province:
— A coalition precision air strike yesterday targeted a Taliban subcommander responsible for leading a 20-member insurgent cell that conducts attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. Coalition forces tracked two armed insurgents as they traveled on a motorcycle in the remote Zurmat district. After intelligence verified insurgent activity and ensured no women or children were present, coalition forces conducted the precision air strike against the two insurgents, killing both. The insurgents had assault rifles and ammunition. ISAF officials are collecting information to determine if the commander was among the insurgents killed in the strike. No civilians were wounded or killed.
— An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents yesterday while in pursuit of a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator for foreign fighters and Haqqani camps in the Sperah district of neighboring Khost province. As the security force moved toward the targeted compound in the Dzadran district, airborne reconnaissance identified two men moving along a tree line displaying hostile intent toward the ground assault force. An air weapons team engaged both men, an assessment indicated they were killed. After questioning all of the residents at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgents and found multiple grenades at the scene. The security force protected women and children throughout the search.
In Zabul province:
— ISAF officials confirmed that Saad Khan, a Taliban commander, was one of the two insurgents killed Aug. 20 during an Afghan and coalition force operation. Khan led attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces. The security force targeted a compound in the Shah Joy district to search for the commander. As they approached, an air weapons team saw two armed insurgents demonstrating hostile intent. The air weapons team engaged, killing the commander and his associate. During a follow-on inspection of the area, the security force found an automatic weapon with four magazines and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with two rounds. After the area was secure, Afghan forces called for all residents to come out of the targeted compound peacefully and then questioned the residents. The residents told the security force that insurgents steal their food and then bed down in the vicinity. The security force did not take detainees from the compound.
In other news, Afghan forces were conducting operations in northern Afghanistan’s Jowzjan province Aug. 20 when they received small-arms and indirect insurgent fire from an unknown number of insurgents in multiple locations. To suppress the threat, the Afghan forces requested coalition close-air support, which was provided by an air weapons team of two helicopters. The air weapons team fired a Hellfire missile and 30 mm rounds toward an identified firing position. A subsequent battle-damage assessment revealed that three Afghan police officers were accidentally killed and several more were wounded during the engagement. ISAF officials offered condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the fallen servicemembers and sent an initial assessment team to determine the facts.
In the Nahr‑e Saraj district of Helmand province, two Afghan female civilians, including a child, were killed Aug. 21 when insurgents attacked an Afghan and coalition patrol with rocket-propelled grenades and weapon-mounted grenade launchers. The combined patrol responded with small-arms and mortar fire. Following the engagement, an Afghan man reported that a child had been killed by insurgent RPG fire. The man then took a wounded Afghan woman to a nearby coalition patrol base, where she subsequently died of wounds caused by an insurgent RPG.
Also, an insurgent bomb detonated in northern Afghanistan Aug. 21, killing five civilians and wounding two more. Afghan police and coalition forces responded to the site to provide security and assess the incident.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases