Uruzgan Provincial Response Company and Australian Special Forces hit insurgents hard

The Aus­tralian Defence Force and Afghan Nation­al Police recent­ly con­duct­ed high­ly suc­cess­ful joint oper­a­tions in the Shah Wali Kot region of north­ern Kan­da­har, Afghanistan. These oper­a­tions killed numer­ous insur­gents, includ­ing an Impro­vised Explo­sive Device (IED) facil­i­ta­tor, Mul­lah Mohammed Rahim, and mid-lev­el com­man­ders.

The Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group (SOTG) and the Uruz­gan Provin­cial Response Com­pa­ny (PRC) oper­a­tions also net­ted a large num­ber of weapons. 

Com­man­der of Joint Task Force 633, Major Gen­er­al John Cantwell, said Mul­lah Rahim and his men demon­strat­ed ruth­less­ness and dis­re­gard for civil­ian safe­ty, fir­ing at the Afghan and Aus­tralian force from mul­ti­ple machine gun posi­tions in and around civil­ian compounds. 

He said at one stage dur­ing the con­tact Afghan and Aus­tralian sol­diers escort­ed up to 34 women and chil­dren to safe­ty while under fire. 

It was dur­ing these oper­a­tions that four SOTG sol­diers were wound­ed (as report­ed by Defence on Mon­day 25 Octo­ber). No Afghan civil­ians were injured or killed dur­ing the operation. 

“The sol­diers of the SOTG and the PRC ensured the safe­ty of a large num­ber of vil­lagers under threat of indis­crim­i­nate insur­gent fire before regain­ing con­trol of the bat­tle­field and clear­ing the area,” Major Gen­er­al Cantwell said. 

“The SOTG and Afghan forces exer­cised care­ful judge­ment in this com­plex envi­ron­ment iden­ti­fy­ing insur­gents and ensur­ing that no vil­lagers were harmed by their fire,” he added. 

The insur­gent iden­ti­fied as Mul­lah Mohammed Rahim was known to have com­mand­ed up to 30 insur­gent fight­ers and for his sig­nif­i­cant involve­ment in the con­struc­tion and use of IEDs. 

Major Gen­er­al Cantwell said the elim­i­na­tion of Mul­lah Rahim, and oth­er high and mid-lev­el Tal­iban insur­gents, would hin­der the insur­gents’ abil­i­ty to oper­ate in the Shah Wali Kot region. 

Two of the four wound­ed SOTG sol­diers have returned to Aus­tralia for fur­ther treatment. 

Both men are in a sat­is­fac­to­ry con­di­tion and will make a full recovery. 

The oth­er two sol­diers wound­ed in the same inci­dent have returned to oper­a­tional duties. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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