Central Uruzgan insurgent commander killed

Cen­tral Uruz­gan insur­gent com­man­der killed dur­ing part­nered Afghan and Aus­tralian Oper­a­tion
The com­man­der of the dis­trict-lev­el insur­gent group oper­at­ing in cen­tral Uruz­gan was killed dur­ing a delib­er­ate Afghan and Aus­tralian Spe­cial Forces oper­a­tion against a gath­er­ing of insur­gents on Wednes­day, 1 June 2011.

The Taliban’s Shad­ow Dis­trict Gov­er­nor for Cho­ra, Mul­lah Gul Akhund, was meet­ing with oth­er insur­gents in the Karmisan Val­ley to the north-east of Cho­ra when they were con­front­ed by a rapid­ly clos­ing force from the Afghan Nation­al Police and Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group (SOTG).

The insur­gent group attempt­ed to evade cap­ture and engaged the part­nered Afghan and Aus­tralian force. In the ensu­ing small-arms engage­ment, Mul­lah Gul Akhund was killed.

While secur­ing the area, the part­nered force found and iden­ti­fied the body of promi­nent insur­gent bomb mak­er and tac­ti­cal com­man­der Shah Mamood.

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of the SOTG (who can­not be named for oper­a­tional secu­ri­ty rea­sons) Lieu­tenant Colonel G said the deaths of the two insur­gent com­man­ders will have an imme­di­ate and pro­found effect on the cohe­sive­ness and con­trol of the cen­tral Uruz­gan insur­gent net­work dur­ing the tra­di­tion­al sum­mer fight­ing sea­son.

“Mul­lah Gul Akhund was a dis­trict-lev­el insur­gent com­man­der respon­si­ble for the coor­di­na­tion of sev­er­al cells dis­persed across cen­tral Uruz­gan,” Lieu­tenant Colonel G said.

“Impor­tant­ly, he was a man who was want­ed by Afghan author­i­ties for order­ing the assas­si­na­tion of gov­ern­ment offi­cials and trib­al elders, and order­ing mul­ti­ple attacks on coali­tion and Afghan forces.”

Mul­lah Gul Akhund is known to have played a key role in the man­u­fac­ture and facil­i­ta­tion of Impro­vised Explo­sive Devices (IED), an indis­crim­i­nate weapon that con­tin­ues to cause harm to many more inno­cent Afghans than it does ISAF troops.

He is known to have only recent­ly returned to Uruz­gan in an effort to coor­di­nate the 2011 insur­gent fight­ing sea­son.

“Both Mul­lah Gul Akhund and Shah Mamood had direct links to the senior insur­gent lead­er­ship and rep­re­sent­ed a clear threat to coali­tion and Afghan forces, as well as Afghan locals in the area.”

“Their deaths will sig­nif­i­cant­ly dis­rupt the com­mand and con­trol net­work in Uruz­gan and inhib­it IED dis­tri­b­u­tion in the area. It comes at a cru­cial time, as the coali­tion braces itself for the com­mence­ment of the sum­mer fight­ing sea­son.”

Sev­er­al oth­er insur­gent fight­ers were also detained, and a sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ty of weapons, includ­ing assault rifles and grenades was also recov­ered dur­ing the mis­sion.

No Afghan or Aus­tralian troops were wound­ed or killed dur­ing the mis­sion.

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

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