WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2011 — Afghan and coalition security forces yesterday killed and detained multiple insurgents during separate operations targeting a Haqqani terrorist network attack cell in eastern Afghanistan, military officials reported.
The operations targeted several facilitators responsible for planning an attack on the Afghan capital of Kabul under direction from Haqqani leaders based in Pakistan. Tips from local Afghans indicated the insurgents’ locations and their plans to launch the attack during the next few weeks, officials said.
In the Nerkh district of Wardak province, a combined force searching for a Haqqani facilitator was attacked by enemy rocket-propelled grenade fire. The force returned fire, killing several insurgents.
In a related operation, an Afghan-led security force searched for another facilitator at a compound in the Andar district of Ghazni province. The force was attacked by a group of insurgents barricaded in a building. The force directed the insurgents to surrender, however the insurgents continued to fire. The force then called in airstrikes, which killed several insurgents and caused others to surrender. Members of the security force then met with local leaders, who said the building the insurgents had taken over was the village mosque. In another operation, several individuals with suspected ties to the Haqqani facilitators were detained in the Sabari district of Khost province.
No civilians were harmed during the operations, officials said.
Coalition officials have arranged a meeting with leaders in Ghazni to rebuild the mosque, which was destroyed during the fighting. Insurgents have been using mosques as fighting positions or as ammunition storage areas. On July 20, A group of Haqqani insurgents used a position inside a mosque to attack Afghan and coalition forces in the Bermal district of Paktika province. Insurgents also recently used a mosque in the Zharay district of Kandahar province to store explosives.
Since the beginning of the year, combined forces have captured or killed more than 100 Haqqani insurgents in Khost, Ghazni, and Wardak provinces, more than 50 of them insurgent leaders or facilitators.
In other operations yesterday:
— A combined force detained a Taliban facilitator and two of his associates during a security operation in the Zharay district of Kandahar province. The facilitator was responsible for acquiring and moving weapons, and financing Taliban operations in the district.
— A combined force detained multiple suspects during an operation targeting a Taliban facilitator in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province. The leader coordinates the movement of weapons and bomb-making materials in the region.
— A combined force killed two insurgents while searching for a Taliban leader in the Khugyani district of Nangarhar province.
— Combined forces detained four suspects as the result of four operations conducted in Regional Command East.
— Bagram Airfield received one round of indirect fire from an unknown number of insurgents. No injuries and no damages were reported. The incident is under investigation.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases