Roadside Bomb Kills Civilians in Afghanistan

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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