Combined Force Captures Taliban Leader

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2012 — An Afghan-led and coali­tion-sup­port­ed secu­ri­ty force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader dur­ing an oper­a­tion in the Nahr‑e Saraj dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Hel­mand province today, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

The leader coor­di­nat­ed road­side bomb and ambush attacks against Afghan forces along Route 1 in Hel­mand province, offi­cials said.

The secu­ri­ty force also seized 15 pounds of opi­um and detained an addi­tion­al sus­pect­ed insur­gent.

In oth­er Afghanistan oper­a­tions today:

— A com­bined patrol seized about 500 pounds of mar­i­jua­na and about 45 pounds of mar­i­jua­na seeds in the Pan­jwai dis­trict of Kan­da­har province.

— In the Zharay dis­trict of Kan­da­har province, a com­bined force seized 300 pounds of mar­i­jua­na and detained sev­er­al sus­pects while search­ing for a Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tor who plans attacks against coali­tion forces and moves weapons and ammu­ni­tion through­out Kan­da­har.

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader and detained anoth­er sus­pect in the Sayyid­abad dis­trict of War­dak province. The leader planned assas­si­na­tions and direct-fire attacks against Afghan gov­ern­ment offi­cials.

In Afghanistan oper­a­tions yes­ter­day:

— A coali­tion airstrike killed an insur­gent after he attacked coali­tion forces with small-arms fire in the Alish­ing dis­trict of Lagh­man province.

— Coali­tion forces arrest­ed six peo­ple found with Afghan army uni­forms and weapons in the Alin­gar dis­trict of Lagh­man province.

— Coali­tion troops detained three peo­ple sus­pect­ed of being bomb mak­ers in the Tereza­ki dis­trict of Khost province.

— Afghan police detained a man who had two assault rifles and ammu­ni­tion in the Zur­mat dis­trict of Pak­tia province.

— Coali­tion troops detained a man for hav­ing bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als Khost’s Khost dis­trict.

— Afghan bor­der police detained a man as a per­son of inter­est in Paktia’s Jaji dis­trict.

— A com­bined patrol found about 550 pounds of hashish and mul­ti­ple 82 mm mor­tar rounds in Kandahar’s Pan­jwai dis­trict.

— A com­bined patrol found and destroyed about 1,000 pounds of hashish in Kandahar’s Zharay dis­trict.

— A com­bined force found and destroyed about 660 pounds of hashish in Helmand’s Musa Qalah dis­trict.

In oth­er Afghanistan news, Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force com­man­der, joined Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai in con­demn­ing a recent insur­gent rock­et attack on a home in the Alla­sai dis­trict of Kapisa province that killed a woman and a child and injured sev­en oth­er peo­ple.

“Con­tin­ued delib­er­ate attacks on the peo­ple of Afghanistan that result in the bru­tal mur­der of defense­less women and chil­dren clear­ly show that this heart­less insur­gency has no moral com­pass what­so­ev­er,” Allen said. “I join Pres­i­dent Karzai in extend­ing my deep­est sym­pa­thies to the fam­i­lies of those who were killed, and in pray­ing for the fastest recov­ery of those who were injured in this need­less tragedy.”

Allen added that Tal­iban leader Mohammed Omar’s “deaf­en­ing silence and inac­tion in stop­ping these ongo­ing attacks against inno­cent Afghan civil­ians shows that his foot sol­diers are now giv­ing the orders while he and his inner cir­cle reside in com­fort, allow­ing the killing of their own broth­ers and sis­ters.”

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es