Australia – Insurgent operations suffer further blow in Uruzgan

A new operation by the Afghan Provincial Response Company – Uruzgan (PRC-U) and Australia’s Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) has maintained the pressure on insurgent commanders in Uruzgan by recently detaining a highly-influential district-level commander.

The successful detention of the insurgent commander builds on the achievements of March’s Operation TEVARA SIN 24 during which two district-level insurgent groups were disrupted and a regional-level insurgent cell operating in the western Uruzgan region was effectively dismantled.

On 8 April 2011, members of the PRC-U and SOTG conducted a clearance operation in the Khod Valley region as part of an ongoing operation and detained several suspected insurgents.

One of these men was later identified as a district-level insurgent commander.

The Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, said the insurgent commander was assessed as being prolific in facilitating the insurgency throughout southern Afghanistan.

“The man has direct links to the senior leadership of the insurgency and is a highly influential commander. He was in charge of insurgent operations in the Char Chineh district and is also responsible for supplying weapons and fighters throughout Shahid-e Hassas,” Lieutenant General Evans said.

The man has been transferred to the Detention Facility in Parwan under Australia’s detainee management framework.

Lieutenant General Evans said that the removal of the insurgent commander will severely disrupt planned insurgent operations, particularly in Western Uruzgan, and reduce attacks on ISAF and local forces.

“PRC-U officers and their Australian Special Forces partners have killed or detained eleven key insurgent commanders in the past month. Operations to maintain pressure on the insurgents’ command and control network are ongoing,” Lieutenant General Evans said.

“These recent efforts have resulted in a significant blow to the insurgents’ ability to facilitate planting of improvised explosive devices and to plan and prepare for the coming fighting season.

“The insurgency in Uruzgan is now less capable after a winter period where many of its caches were discovered and destroyed. As a result, the insurgency will now find it more difficult to construct home-made bombs and attack civilian and ISAF targets.”

Lieutenant General Evans said the efforts of the partnered forces to protect the people of Uruzgan province were to be commended.

“Our partnered forces are doing a brilliant job of increasing security in the province and placing hard-line elements of the insurgency under incredible pressure,” he said.

Lieutenant General Evans said the constant pressure was having a wider effect.

“We saw the provincial Governor recently accept the reintegration of 45 former fighters back into their local communities – there is a way out for those who choose to take it,” Lieutenant General Evans said.

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, Australia

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