Combined Force Kills Taliban Leader

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2012 — A com­bined Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force killed a Tal­iban leader and two of his asso­ciates dur­ing an oper­a­tion in the Achin dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Nan­garhar province today, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

The leader, Khetab Gul, was respon­si­ble for a recent sui­cide car bomb attack in Nan­garhar, offi­cials said. He also con­struct­ed road­side bombs, planned attacks and dis­trib­uted bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als to insur­gents through­out the province.

Dur­ing the oper­a­tion, sev­er­al armed insur­gents bar­ri­cad­ed them­selves inside a build­ing and fired at the secu­ri­ty force, offi­cials said. The force returned fire, killing Gul and two oth­er insur­gents.

The secu­ri­ty force also con­fis­cat­ed firearms dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

In oth­er Afghanistan news today:

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader, detained sev­er­al sus­pects, and seized 150 pounds of hashish in the Zharay dis­trict of Kan­da­har province. The leader dis­trib­uted weapons, plant­ed road­side bombs and led direct-fire attacks against Afghan forces.

— A com­bined force cap­tured two Tal­iban lead­ers in the Nad ‘Ali dis­trict of Hel­mand province. One leader man­u­fac­tured explo­sives for use in attacks against Afghan forces through­out the Mar­jah and Nad’ Ali dis­tricts, and the oth­er dis­trib­uted funds to insur­gent groups.

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Haqqani net­work leader, detained sev­er­al sus­pects, and seized mul­ti­ple chest racks and weapons in the Sabari dis­trict of Khost province. The leader planned road­side bomb attacks and pro­cured weapons for insur­gents in Khost.

— In the Khost dis­trict of Khost province, an Afghan-led and coali­tion-sup­port­ed force detained sev­er­al sus­pects while search­ing for a Haqqani net­work mem­ber who dis­trib­utes sup­plies to insur­gents and con­ducts attacks against Afghan forces using rock­ets and machine guns.

— A com­bined force killed one insur­gent, detained two oth­ers and seized sev­er­al weapons while search­ing for a Tal­iban leader in the Zur­mat dis­trict of Pak­tiya province. The leader directs ambush and road­side bomb attacks through­out the dis­trict.

In Afghanistan news yes­ter­day:

— Six Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force ser­vice mem­bers died fol­low­ing a heli­copter crash in south­ern Afghanistan. The cause of the crash is under inves­ti­ga­tion. Ini­tial report­ing indi­cates there was no ene­my activ­i­ty in the area at the time of the crash. It is ISAF pol­i­cy to defer casu­al­ty iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures to the rel­e­vant nation­al author­i­ties and more infor­ma­tion will be released.

— Afghan sol­diers detained a man for pos­ses­sion of a small weapons cache in the Dehyak dis­trict of Ghazni province.

— Coali­tion forces detained a man for ques­tion­ing after indi­rect shots were fired around Camp Clark in Khost province.

— Afghan sol­diers detained a man found with a weapons cache in the Sar Rowzah dis­trict of Pak­ti­ka province. The detainee was trans­port­ed to a near­by base for ques­tion­ing.

— Coali­tion forces detained four sus­pects match­ing the descrip­tion of a senior Haqqani net­work com­man­der in the Bara­ki Barak dis­trict of Log­ar province. The detainees were trans­port­ed to a near­by base for ques­tion­ing.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es