Karzai, ISAF Condemn Herat Province IED Attack

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2011 — Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai, his government’s inte­ri­or min­istry and the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force joint­ly con­demned today’s impro­vised explo­sive device attack that report­ed­ly killed numer­ous civil­ians and wound­ed many oth­ers in the Tark Abad dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Her­at province, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Ini­tial reports indi­cate 24 Afghans were killed and 11 oth­ers were wound­ed when IEDs struck two sep­a­rate vehi­cles. Among the dead are chil­dren and five women. Afghan offi­cials said the Tal­iban were behind the attacks. 

“Insur­gents plan attacks such as these with­out regard for the civil­ians they kill, look­ing for the atten­tion of the media,” said Navy Rear Adm. Hal Pittman, an ISAF spokesman. “The Afghan peo­ple see the self­ish destruc­tion the insur­gents bring. ISAF joins Pres­i­dent Karzai and [the inte­ri­or min­istry] in con­demn­ing this atrocity.” 

In oth­er Afghanistan news, Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, com­man­der of NATO’s Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force, issued a state­ment today in which he wished the Afghan peo­ple a joy­ous Inde­pen­dence Day holiday. 

Allen’s state­ment reads: 

“To the hon­or­able peo­ple of Afghanistan — Salam-u-Alaikum! On behalf of all the mem­bers of the NATO Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force, I would like to wish you a joy­ous cel­e­bra­tion dur­ing the Afghanistan Inde­pen­dence Day hol­i­day. On this occa­sion, I express my heart­felt appre­ci­a­tion to all Afghans faith­ful­ly serv­ing their coun­try, whether in gov­ern­ment, as mem­bers of the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Force, or as peace-lov­ing civilians. 

“For ten years, ISAF and its mem­bers have been work­ing with our Afghan broth­ers and sis­ters to build a stronger, freer, and safer Afghanistan. Togeth­er, we have crip­pled the al-Qai­da ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion in the region and worked tire­less­ly to weak­en the insur­gency. Togeth­er, we con­tin­ue to pro­mote the con­di­tions nec­es­sary for a sta­ble and free Afghanistan. And togeth­er, we will ensure a pros­per­ous future for the peo­ple of Afghanistan. 

“Ear­li­er this year, ever-strength­en­ing Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces began assum­ing pri­ma­ry secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ty from ISAF forces in sev­er­al areas through­out the coun­try. These Afghan forces will con­tin­ue to grow in both quan­ti­ty and qual­i­ty, so that in the near future, they will be trained, equipped, and capa­ble of inde­pen­dent­ly defeat­ing the insur­gents wher­ev­er they may try to hide. 

“I, along with every mem­ber of my com­mand, am proud of the progress being made, Shohna ba Shohna with our Afghan part­ners. I look for­ward to the con­tin­ued progress that will be made through 2014 and beyond, as the nations of ISAF remain for­ev­er faith­ful hamkar to the Afghan peo­ple, and we will con­tin­ue to sup­port a free and sta­ble Afghanistan. 

“We are bound togeth­er in our efforts and sac­ri­fices, and we will con­tin­ue to work toward a peace­ful and pros­per­ous Afghanistan. That bond will remain strong long after we’ve pre­vailed over the insur­gency, and will ensure Afghanistan is a coun­try where its peo­ple can have faith in their gov­ern­ment and live with­out the fear of vio­lence. With courage and hon­or, togeth­er we will prevail.” 

In Afghanistan oper­a­tions yesterday: 

— A com­bined Afghan and coali­tion force killed numer­ous insur­gents and detained two oth­ers dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in the Khugyani dis­trict of Nan­garhar province. The secu­ri­ty force was search­ing for a Hezb‑e Isla­mi Gul­bud­din ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion leader when they observed sev­er­al groups of heav­i­ly armed insur­gents. A fire­fight ensued when the insur­gents, armed with rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, machine guns and assault rifles, attacked the secu­ri­ty force. The tar­get of the oper­a­tion was an insur­gent leader who directs a group of Hezb‑e Isla­mi Gul­bud­din and Tal­iban fight­ers in the dis­trict. He also plans and con­ducts ambush and road­side-bomb attacks against Afghan forces. 

— In the Ghor­ma­ch dis­trict of Faryab province, a com­bined force killed two insur­gents and detained a sus­pect while search­ing for a senior Tal­iban leader. The leader is the Tal­iban-appoint­ed deputy gov­ern­ing offi­cial for insur­gent oper­a­tions in the Shirin Tagab dis­trict, and is respon­si­ble for road­side-bomb and rock­et attacks against Afghan forces. 

— A com­bined force detained a Tal­iban leader and a sus­pect­ed insur­gent in the Qalat dis­trict of Zab­ul province. The leader was respon­si­ble for road­side-bomb attacks against Afghan secu­ri­ty forces patrolling the Tar­nak Wa Jal­dak and Qalat districts. 

— In the Arghandab dis­trict of Kan­da­har province, a com­bined force detained a sus­pect dur­ing an oper­a­tion tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader who con­ducts intim­i­da­tion oper­a­tions against Afghan civil­ians and coor­di­nates attacks against Afghan forces. 

— Also in Kan­da­har province, a com­bined force detained numer­ous sus­pect­ed mem­bers of the Tal­iban dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in the Pan­jwai dis­trict. The tar­get of this oper­a­tion is a Tal­iban leader who directs sev­er­al low­er-rank­ing lead­ers and fight­ers in the area. 

— A com­bined Afghan and coali­tion force detained sev­er­al sus­pects in the Nahr‑e Saraj dis­trict of Hel­mand province. The force con­duct­ed the oper­a­tion to dis­rupt a Tal­iban cell respon­si­ble for run­ning a prison oper­a­tion in the area. 

— A com­bined force killed two insur­gents and detained sev­er­al sus­pects dur­ing a secu­ri­ty oper­a­tion in the Pul‑e Alam dis­trict of Log­ar province. The force was search­ing for a Tal­iban leader who coor­di­nates and plans attacks against Afghan secu­ri­ty forces. The com­bined force con­fis­cat­ed rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, assault rifles, sev­er­al oth­er grenades and chest racks. 

— A com­bined force detained sev­er­al sus­pects dur­ing a search for a Tal­iban leader in Ghazni city, Ghazni province. The leader man­ages fight­ers, facil­i­tates road­side bomb oper­a­tions and coor­di­nates attacks with oth­er Tal­iban lead­ers and facilitators. 

In Aug. 17 operations: 

— A com­bined force found and safe­ly destroyed an explo­sives cache in the Lashkar Gah dis­trict of Hel­mand province. The cache con­tained 9,149 pounds of ammo­ni­um nitrate and 3,858 pounds of home­made explosives. 

In Aug. 16 operations: 

— A com­bined Afghan and coali­tion oper­a­tion result­ed in the deten­tion of a key road­side-bomb facil­i­ta­tor and sev­er­al oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents in the Kab­ul dis­trict of Kab­ul province. 

— In the Now Zad dis­trict of Hel­mand province, a com­bined patrol detained numer­ous sus­pects dur­ing an oper­a­tion tar­get­ing a Tal­iban leader who is respon­si­ble for attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces. 

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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