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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