WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2010 — Coalition and Afghan forces continued their assault on the insurgency in southeastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing nearly two dozen enemy fighters and capturing at least one Taliban leader, military officials reported.
The most widespread operation occurred in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province, where a large group of insurgents fired with small arms and machine guns on a coalition air weapons team. The team returned fire with rockets and the aircraft’s 30 mm cannon, killing more than 20 insurgents.
Initial operational reports indicated that no civilian casualties resulted from the engagement, officials said.
Afghan and coalition forces on the ground later found 20 roadside bombs and four machine guns at the scene, and confiscated a vehicle and 17 motorcycles.
In a separate operation in Kandahar’s Zharay district, dismounted combined patrol found a large stockpile of anti-aircraft rounds, including six mortar rounds and 50 cases that each contained 200 machine-gun rounds.
In other operations yesterday:
— Coalition forces conducted a precision air strike on a vehicle believed to be carrying a senior Taliban leader who plans attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, moves foreign fighters in Afghanistan, and is believed to harbor high-level Taliban leaders. Intelligence sources tracked the senior leader to the vehicle carrying a heavy anti-aircraft gun in a remote area of Zabul province’s Shah Joy district. After verifying insurgent activity and ensuring no civilians were present, coalition forces destroyed the vehicle, killing its two occupants. International Security Assistance Force officials said they’re gathering information to confirm the targeted man was killed.
— A combined force captured a Taliban leader who commands fighters involved in bombing attacks, ambushes and enemy weapons and ammunition trafficking during an overnight operation in Paktika province. He is the seventh insurgent leader captured or killed in Paktika province this month, officials said. Intelligence reports led the force to a compound in the Yahya Khel district, where they identified and detained the targeted man and an associate. During the operation, the force shot and killed several insurgents who maneuvered toward them with machine guns and automatic weapons. The force found and destroyed multiple automatic weapons, grenades, anti-personnel mines, pressure-plate bombs, detonation wire and rocket-propelled grenades with launchers.
— A senior Taliban leader surrendered to a combined force of Afghan special operations forces and border police in Paktia province’s Dand Patan district. Assisted by U.S. Special Forces soldiers, the Afghan team received information that a known Taliban senior leader was in a store. The Afghan soldiers coordinated with the local border police chief, who sent an officer to the store to confirm the leader’s presence. The combined force secured the store’s perimeter, and the Taliban leader surrendered.
In other news from Afghanistan, ISAF officials confirmed the Oct. 26 capture of a Taliban leader who operated in Zabul province’s Qalat district during an intelligence-driven operation in the province’s Shah Joy district. The force also detained a suspected associate for further questioning.
Afghan and coalition forces protect any women and children present during their operations, officials said.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases