WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 – Three Afghan civilians were killed by an insurgent attack in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province today as Afghan and international forces increased efforts to squelch enemy fighters, military officials reported.
Three Afghan civilians, including a child, were killed and four others were wounded by a roadside bomb in the province’s Kandahar district. Afghan police responded to evacuate the wounded to Mirwais hospital and investigate the blast.
Also today, Afghan and coalition troops discovered several weapons and drug caches during separate clearing operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan.
In Helmand province’s Sangin district, Kandahar’s Nad-e Ali district and Logar’s Pul-e Alam district, combined patrols discovered several large weapons, bomb-making components and narcotics caches. The caches consisted of 1,600 7.62 mm rounds, three 82 mm recoilless rifle rounds, eight rocket-propelled grenades, 16 RPG boosters, an RPG launcher, 10 fragmentation grenades, an 82 mm mortar round, a mortar tube, three mortar rounds, eight grenades and a 107 mm rocket.
The bomb-making components consisted of a vehicle-operated bomb, 24 pressure plates, two radio remote controllers, detonation cord, radio components, 24 blasting caps, 80 pounds of homemade explosives, 44 pounds of the banned ammonium nitrate fertilizer used to make homemade explosives, and 11 pounds of explosives. The caches also contained 110 pounds of opium.
Initial reports indicate no civilians were injured and no damage was reported during the clearing operations.
In other news from Afghanistan, combined forces killed more than 10 insurgents in the northern province of Faryab during a two-day operation that began Jan. 18 to disrupt insurgents‘ movement and safe havens. Afghan and coalition forces cleared more than 20 buildings suspected of insurgent activity.
On Jan. 18, as the security force arrived at the first targeted building, armed combatants engaged them with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. The force returned fire, killing several armed combatants. Insurgent fire prevented the security force from searching the area.
The force then received machine-gun fire from multiple insurgents and returned fire, killing several armed combatants. The force was able to identify a machine gun, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher and ammunition inside the building.
After determining no civilians were present coalition forces destroyed the Taliban fighting position with a precision airstrike. The building had been the local school before the Taliban took control of it, officials said.
Yesterday, as the security force was clearing another building, insurgents again engaged the force with RPGs and small-arms fire. The security force returned fire, killing several additional armed insurgents.
In other operations yesterday:
— Afghan and coalition forces detained more than 10 insurgents and killed two others during an operation targeting a Taliban shadow district leader for Nangarhar province’s Hisarak district and a Haqqani terrorist network leader. The two armed insurgents were killed after they threatened coalition forces during a search of a targeted compound.
— Combined forces detained 11 insurgents during an operation targeting a Taliban leader who supplies bomb-making materials and heavy weapons to the Haqqani network in Khost province’s Khost district. Security forces followed leads to a series of buildings, where they recovered more than 10 anti-personnel mines, multiple assault rifles, 14 grenades, multiple chest racks, 55 pounds of bomb-making chemicals, a bomb triggering system and hundreds of rounds heavy machine gun ammunition.
— Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban facilitator along with another suspected insurgent in Paktia province’s Gardez district. The targeted man is believed to be responsible for laundering money to finance insurgent operations and is associated with narcotics traffickers in the area.
— International Security Assistance Force officials confirmed a Taliban leader was detained during an Afghan and coalition forces Jan. 17 operation in Kandahar province. The leader operated in the province’s Maiwand district and was associated with Pakistan-based Taliban leadership. He was responsible for coordinating attacks, gathering intelligence and movement of supplies to support Taliban insurgent activity.
Afghan and coalition forces have detained more than 35 Taliban senior leaders and facilitators, along with more than 175 suspected Taliban insurgents, since the first of the year. Security forces conducted 86 percent of those missions without shots fired, officials said.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases
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