Forces Target Insurgents in Southeastern Afghanistan

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 

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