Afghanistan — Zabul Province Blast Kills Several Afghan Villagers

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2010 — Sev­er­al Afghan civil­ians were killed today in an impro­vised explo­sive device blast in the Qalat dis­trict of Zab­ul province.

Afghan Nation­al Police mem­bers respond­ed to the scene of the blast and trans­port­ed the wound­ed to a local hospital. 

“The ugly face of this insur­gency con­tin­ues to show itself. This loss of inno­cent life is an awful reminder of the indis­crim­i­nate weapons insur­gents use,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Tor­res, Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Command’s Com­bined Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter director. 

“Our thoughts and con­cerns are with the victim’s fam­i­lies,” Tor­res con­tin­ued. “We’ll work with our Afghan part­ners to find those respon­si­ble for this attack and bring them to justice.” 

In yesterday’s Afghanistan news: 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces secured and destroyed about 2,200 pounds of home­made explo­sives dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Ghazni province. Mul­ti­ple intel­li­gence reports and tips from res­i­dents led the com­bined secu­ri­ty force to the cache, which was rigged to explode. An ISAF explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al dis­armed the explo­sives and destroyed the cache. 

— A com­bined patrol killed an insur­gent and detained anoth­er dur­ing a rou­tine inter­dic­tion oper­a­tion in Zabul’s Shinkai dis­trict. Dur­ing the road­block, a group of men in a vehi­cle attempt­ed to bypass the force, rais­ing their weapons as they passed the force. Declar­ing hos­tile intent, the secu­ri­ty force fired at the men. The vehi­cle came to a stop and the occu­pants attempt­ed to flee into the sur­round­ing hill­side. The force pur­sued the men and locat­ed one wound­ed man. The force imme­di­ate­ly pro­vid­ed med­ical aid, but the man died of his wounds. One man was detained dur­ing the operation. 

— A com­bined patrol raid­ed two nar­cotics lab­o­ra­to­ries in south­ern Hel­mand province. Dur­ing a search of the labs, the patrol found about 1,300 pounds of hashish, drug man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment, pack­ag­ing mate­ri­als and IED com­po­nents. In the same area, the force noticed a sus­pi­cious bunker and upon fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion, found an under­ground nar­cotics lab. They detained a man there who was in pos­ses­sion of an AK-47 rifle and a pis­tol with ammu­ni­tion. Notic­ing a sim­i­lar bunker near­by, the force found anoth­er lab with drugs and pro­cess­ing equip­ment. The drugs, IED com­po­nents, weapons and pro­cess­ing equip­ment were destroyed on site. 

— Coali­tion forces dis­cov­ered more than 3,000 pounds of home­made explo­sives in about 70 bar­rels hid­den in an aban­doned build­ing in east­ern Afghanistan. The dis­cov­ery was made while the force was con­duct­ing search and clear­ing oper­a­tions in the Andar dis­trict of Ghazni province. Coali­tion explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al sol­diers destroyed the mate­r­i­al on site. — Afghan and coali­tion forces killed an insur­gent and detained two oth­ers in War­dak province dur­ing an oper­a­tion tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader active in IED and direct fire attacks and kid­nap­pings on High­way 1, one of the busiest routes in the coun­try. Intel­li­gence tips led the force to a com­pound in the Sayed Abad dis­trict. As the force cleared the com­pound, they killed an armed insur­gent demon­strat­ing hos­tile intent. The force found a hand grenade and an auto­mat­ic weapon on the insur­gent. When the area was secure, the force detained two sus­pect­ed insurgents. 

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban mem­ber involved in the con­struc­tion of sui­cide vests and vehi­cle-borne IEDs, dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Kan­da­har province. The man is direct­ly linked to recent sui­cide attacks and is known to have housed sui­cide attack­ers. He also coor­di­nat­ed weapons and explo­sives in prepa­ra­tion for attacks in Kan­da­har City. Intel­li­gence tips led the force to a tent out­side Kan­da­har City to search for the sus­pect. Afghan forces used a loud­speak­er to call for all occu­pants to exit the tent peace­ful­ly, then the secu­ri­ty force cleared and secured the area. After ques­tion­ing res­i­dents, the force detained the suspect. 

— Com­bined forces detained sev­er­al sus­pects in three oper­a­tions in east­ern and south­ern Afghanistan aimed at cap­tur­ing Tal­iban and Haqqani Net­work lead­ers. A force tar­get­ed a Haqqani Net­work senior leader, who man­ages Haqqani oper­a­tions in Pak­istan and the move­ment of for­eign fight­ers from Pak­istan into Afghanistan, detain­ing sev­er­al sus­pects dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Khost province. Intel­li­gence tips led the force to a remote com­pound in the Khost dis­trict to search for the sus­pect. After clear­ing the com­pound and ques­tion­ing res­i­dents, the force detained the sus­pects. In Kan­da­har province, a sep­a­rate force tar­get­ed a Tal­iban senior leader known to con­struct IEDs and sui­cide vests. Intel­li­gence reports led the force to a com­pound in the Dand dis­trict where the force detained sev­er­al sus­pects. To the west in Hel­mand province, anoth­er secu­ri­ty force searched for a Tal­iban leader who trans­ports weapons into the Now Zad dis­trict. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the force tar­get­ed a com­pound in the Musa Qal’ah dis­trict to search for the sus­pect. The force detained sev­er­al insur­gents. They did not fire their weapons and they pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren for the dura­tion of the searches. 

— A com­bined force tar­get­ed a mid-lev­el Tal­iban leader who com­mands an attack cell and moves weapons in Zabul’s Shah Joy dis­trict. Intel­li­gence tips led the force to a remote com­pound where they used a loud­speak­er to clear the area. Dur­ing the clear­ance, a man was killed when he showed hos­tile intent toward the force. After the area was secure, the force ques­tioned res­i­dents at the scene before detain­ing sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents. The force also pur­sued sev­er­al armed men who fled the com­pound. Dur­ing the pur­suit, an armed insur­gent demon­strat­ed hos­tile intent toward the force, which respond­ed, killing him. The force found a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­er with mul­ti­ple rounds and an auto­mat­ic weapon with mul­ti­ple mag­a­zines at the scene. 

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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