Forces Pressure Insurgents in Eastern Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2011 — Insur­gent net­works have been severe­ly dis­rupt­ed over the past two months by Afghan and coali­tion forces’ oper­a­tions in the bor­der areas of east­ern Afghanistan, mil­i­tary offi­cials said.

Region­al Com­mand East oper­a­tions over the last 60 days have focused on the Afghanistan bor­der provinces of Khost, Pak­tiya, Nuris­tan, and Pak­ti­ka, and War­dak to the west of Kab­ul, Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force offi­cials said in a news release issued today.

These oper­a­tions, ISAF offi­cials said, have dis­rupt­ed insur­gent capa­bil­i­ties and shut down ene­my safe havens on the Afghan side of the bor­der.

Since mid-May, offi­cials said, com­bined forces have killed more than 450 ene­my fight­ers and detained close to 300 in oper­a­tions in the east.

“While the Tal­iban have been sub­sti­tut­ing pro­pa­gan­da efforts for gen­uine tac­ti­cal vic­to­ries, we have been work­ing with our Afghan secu­ri­ty force part­ners to con­sis­tent­ly kill or cap­ture Tal­iban and Haqqani lead­ers and seize their muni­tions,” said Col. Dan Hurl­but, oper­a­tions offi­cer for RC-East. “We’ll take tan­gi­ble effects over false per­cep­tions any day.”

A recent oper­a­tion in Afghanistan’s Lagh­man province saw ene­my resis­tance evap­o­rate. Insur­gents walked away from for­mer strong­holds.

“This is a dis­or­ga­nized and demor­al­ized ene­my who tries to exploit the Afghanistan-Pak­istan bor­der,” said British Maj. Matthew Palmer, deputy chief of oper­a­tions for RC-East. “Dur­ing oper­a­tions along the Pak­istan bor­der, insur­gents con­tin­ue to flee and refuse to direct­ly engage ANSF and coali­tion forces.”

In Ghazni province, secu­ri­ty forces cap­tured bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als and 20 heavy and light machine guns in one raid. In Nan­garhar, a local vil­lager turned in more than 80 mines and rock­ets while Afghan secu­ri­ty offi­cials arrest­ed two peo­ple attempt­ing to smug­gle hun­dreds of pounds of explo­sives hid­den in cement con­tain­ers.

Also, an Afghan-led com­man­do oper­a­tion in the Barg-e Matal dis­trict in Nuris­tan province result­ed in the deaths of dozens of insur­gents.

And in late July, an Afghan-led force killed more than 50 insur­gents dur­ing an oper­a­tion against a stag­ing area for for­eign fight­ers enter­ing Afghanistan from Pak­istan in the Sar Rowzah dis­trict of Pak­ti­ka province. The Haqqani net­work is accused of help­ing insur­gent fight­ers enter Afghanistan from Pak­istan.

“Despite the Haqqani claims, we have no cred­i­ble intel­li­gence indi­cat­ing that the Haqqani net­work has elim­i­nat­ed their oper­at­ing safe havens in Pak­istan,” said Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacob­son, spokesman for the NATO-led Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force. “They con­tin­ue to plan and exe­cute oper­a­tions from across the bor­der.

Coali­tion forces will con­tin­ue to work with Afghan secu­ri­ty forces here in Afghanistan,” Jacob­son added, “and our Pak­istani allies, to apply pres­sure to both sides of the bor­der in our effort to elim­i­nate this ter­ror­ist threat.”

In August, Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured or killed numer­ous Haqqani insur­gents along the Pak­istani bor­der in Pak­tiya and Khost provinces– to include Haqqani’s sec­ond-in-com­mand for Afghanistan’s Pak­tiya province.

In oth­er Afghanistan news today, a com­bined Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force search­ing for a Tal­iban leader killed two insur­gents, detained sev­er­al sus­pects, and con­fis­cat­ed mul­ti­ple weapons in the Nur­gal dis­trict of Kunar province. The leader plans attacks against Afghan forces in the Nur­gal and Khas Kunar dis­tricts. The secu­ri­ty force con­fis­cat­ed an 82mm recoil­less rifle, three 82mm mor­tars, 15 rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, 12 rock­et-pro­pelled grenade motors, road­side and pres­sure plate bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als ammu­ni­tion, Afghan police uni­forms, hand­cuffs and batons, and U.S. mil­i­tary uni­forms.

In Afghanistan oper­a­tions yes­ter­day:

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader and detained sev­er­al sus­pects in the Nahr-e Saraj dis­trict of Hel­mand province. The insur­gent leader led a group of fight­ers and pro­vid­ed reports to senior Tal­iban mem­bers.

— A com­bined force detained one sus­pect­ed Tal­iban insur­gent in the Panjawa’i dis­trict of Kan­da­har province.

— In the Nahr-e Saraj dis­trict of Hel­mand province, a com­bined force detained sev­er­al sus­pects dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in search of a Tal­iban leader.

— A com­bined force killed three insur­gents and seized ene­my weapons and ammu­ni­tion in the Charkh dis­trict of Log­ar province.

— A com­bined force killed five insur­gents in the Zur­mat dis­trict of Pak­tiya province.

— A com­bined force killed four insur­gents and detained ten sus­pects in the Sayyid­abad dis­trict of War­dak province. This year, more than 40 secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions have been con­duct­ed in Sayyid­abad, killing of 39 insur­gents, and cap­tur­ing 15 lead­ers. More than 90 sus­pects have been detained.

— A com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader in the Archi dis­trict of Kun­duz province. The leader con­duct­ed road­side-bomb attacks against Afghan forces in the region.

— A com­bined force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents dur­ing a search for a Tal­iban leader in the Faiz­abad dis­trict of Jowz­jan province. The leader sup­plied weapons and road­side bomb com­po­nents, assist­ed sui­cide bombers, set up bomb fac­to­ries, and coor­di­nat­ed ambush­es tar­get­ing Afghan forces. The secu­ri­ty force also con­fis­cat­ed a road­side bomb and a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­er with mul­ti­ple rock­ets.

— In the Kan­da­har dis­trict of Kan­da­har province, a com­bined force seized a cache con­tain­ing two assault rifles, four pis­tols, three hand grenades, sev­er­al 7.62mm and 9mm rounds and impro­vised explo­sive device-mak­ing mate­ri­als.

— In the Mai­wand dis­trict of Kan­da­har province, a com­bined force seized a cache con­tain­ing 101 pounds of opi­um. Anoth­er com­bined force detained sev­er­al sus­pects dur­ing a sep­a­rate oper­a­tion in the same dis­trict.

— A com­bined force seized a cache con­tain­ing four grenades, one rock­et, three rock­et engines and ammu­ni­tion in the Wali Moham­mad-e Shahid dis­trict of Ghazni province.

— A Haqqani net­work leader was cap­tured by a com­bined force in the Sabari dis­trict of Khost province. The leader direct­ed a net­work of fight­ers, and was involved in the plan­ning of road­side bomb attacks through­out the region. The force also detained one sus­pect.

— A com­bined force killed an ene­my fight­er and detained sev­er­al sus­pects in the Shwak dis­trict of Pak­tiya province.

— In the Nahr-e Saraj dis­trict of Hel­mand province, a coali­tion force dis­cov­ered a cache con­tain­ing 20 anti-per­son­nel mines, 352 pounds of drugs, 185 yards of det­o­na­tion cord and 11 pounds of explo­sives.

In Sept. 24 Afghanistan oper­a­tions:

— A com­bined patrol killed one insur­gent, detained one sus­pect, and seized a cache con­tain­ing 5,290 pounds of hashish in the Kajran dis­trict of Daykun­di province.

— A com­bined patrol killed sev­er­al insur­gents, detained numer­ous sus­pects, and seized a cache con­tain­ing 1,980 pounds of opi­um and some small arms and ammu­ni­tion in the Kaja­ki dis­trict of Hel­mand province.

— A com­bined force killed sev­er­al insur­gents and seized a cache con­tain­ing one 66-pound IED, one mor­tar, two 122mm rock­ets, four grenades, 11 pounds of explo­sives, 14 IED pres­sure plates, and small arms and ammu­ni­tion in Hel­mand province’s Nahr-e Saraj dis­trict.

— A com­bined patrol detained numer­ous sus­pects in the Ghazni dis­trict of Ghazni province.

— Com­bined forces killed eight insur­gents dur­ing oper­a­tions in Region­al Com­mand East.

— A com­bined force killed six insur­gents, includ­ing a Tal­iban leader, detained three sus­pects, and seized a machine gun, assault rifles and grenades in the Cha­har Bolak dis­trict of Balkh province.

In Sept. 23 Afghanistan oper­a­tions:

— In the Deh-e Salah dis­trict of Bagh­lan province, a com­bined force seized a cache con­tain­ing one recoil­less rifle, one 82mm round, 84 anti-per­son­nel mines, 46 anti-tank mines, six rock­ets and 110 fus­es.

— A com­bined force con­fis­cat­ed 7,128 pounds of hashish in the Pan­jwai dis­trict of Kan­da­har province.

— A com­bined force detained two sus­pects in the Zur­mat dis­trict of Pak­tiya province.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es