Combined Force Captures Taliban Leader

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 23, 2011 — A com­bined Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force today cap­tured a Tal­iban leader and four asso­ciates in the Nahr-e Saraj dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Hel­mand province, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Wali Moham­mad and four com­pan­ions were return­ing to Afghanistan from Pak­istan, offi­cials said. The secu­ri­ty force received infor­ma­tion that the Tal­iban leader was vis­it­ing south­ern Afghanistan after being in hid­ing in Pak­istan for sev­er­al years.

Moham­mad direct­ed attacks that killed mul­ti­ple civil­ians in south­ern Afghanistan. He also is linked to high-lev­el Tal­iban lead­ers with­in the insur­gents’ net­work.

Some bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als were con­fis­cat­ed dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

Also, a com­bined patrol seized a drug cache today in Helmand’s Nawah-ye Barakzai dis­trict, offi­cials said. The cache con­tained 20 pounds of ammo­ni­um nitrate and 400 pounds of pop­py seeds. Ammo­ni­um nitrate, a fer­til­iz­er, also can be used to con­struct bombs.

Addi­tion­al­ly, a com­bined force today dis­cov­ered a weapons cache con­tain­ing sev­en mor­tars and 35 explo­sive muni­tions in the Shin­dand dis­trict of Her­at province.

In Afghanistan oper­a­tions yes­ter­day:

— A coali­tion force seized a weapons cache con­tain­ing nine 122mm artillery rounds and two 115mm artillery rounds in the Bagram dis­trict of Par­wan province.

— A com­bined force detained two sus­pects while search­ing for a Haqqani net­work mem­ber in the Pul-e ‘Alam dis­trict of Log­ar province. The man dis­trib­utes weapons to Haqqani fight­ers and con­ducts attacks in the dis­trict.

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Haqqani net­work leader and detained two sus­pects in Logar’s Pul-e ‘Alam dis­trict.

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader and two sus­pects in Nan­garhar province’s Bati Kot dis­trict.

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Haqqani net­work leader and one sus­pect in the Zarghun Shahr dis­trict of Pak­ti­ka province. The leader coor­di­nat­ed road­side bomb attacks against Afghan forces.

— A com­bined force detained sev­er­al sus­pects and seized some firearms and grenades dur­ing a search for a Haqqani net­work leader in the Sabari dis­trict of Khost province. The leader con­structs and places road­side bombs and sells weapons to insur­gents.

From an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Release