Coalition, Afghan Forces Detain Numerous Insurgent Leaders

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2010 - Coalition and Afghan forces detained numerous insurgent fighters in at least a dozen operations conducted throughout Afghanistan in recent days, military officials reported.

Combined Afghan and International Security Assistance Force teams continued to focus on Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders as they conducted security operations in Nangarhar, Khost, Kabul, Helmand, Kunduz, and Baghlan provinces Nov. 12 and 13.

On Nov. 13, combined forces:

-- Captured a Haqqani Network member known for vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks, and suspected in complex attacks throughout Khost. The force followed intelligence tips and captured the man and several of his associates at a compound in the Guldar in Sabari district. The men were identified by questioning at the scene, and no shots were fired.

-- Captured a Taliban weapons trafficker operating in the Khugyani district of Nangarhar during an overnight operation. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound outside of Jalalabad to search for the man, who is known to procure machine guns and rockets from Peshawar, Pakistan, and reportedly commands more than 50 fighters. The security force secured the area and called for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully. The suspect identified himself during questioning and no shots were fired.

-- Detained several suspected insurgents and confiscated an illegal drug cache in Helmand's Now Zad district. Security forces also shot and killed an armed insurgent when he showed hostile intent toward the security force. After quelling the threat, the team proceeded to secure the area, and then called for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully before searching the compounds. They discovered 25 pounds of black tar heroin and 200 pounds of marijuana, in addition to multiple automatic weapons. The forces detained the suspects based on initial questioning, as well as their possession of illegal drugs and weapons.

-- Detained a man in Kabul suspected of planning upcoming attacks there. The man was detained peacefully after forces searched a compound in the city, which was later turned over to Afghan national police to control.
-- Detained several suspected insurgents while targeting a Haqqani Network IED expert in Paktika. Based on intelligence reports, the security force targeted a remote compound southwest of Talabkhel, which they cleared and secured peacefully. The force detained the suspects following questioning at the scene.

-- Detained several suspected insurgents during a search for a high-ranking Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan senior leader in Kunduz. The man is suspected of coordinating suicide bombers from Pakistan for attacks in the province and acts as a liaison for Taliban in the area.

-- Detained two men suspected of being associated with the Taliban deputy shadow governor of Farah province's Bakwah district. He is believed responsible for directing attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, and executing strategic guidance from Farah senior terrorist leaders as well as leadership in Pakistan. Security forces tracked the suspects to a remote area to ensure the safety of local residents. As the force secured the area, the suspects attempted to flee, but were detained peacefully. No shots were fired.

-- Repelled an insurgent attack on an ISAF forward operating base in Nangarhar's Behsud district after the base received small arms fire. After gaining positive identification of insurgent fighting positions, a quick reaction force was sent to the area. Initial reports indicated eight insurgents were killed by the combined force. One was wearing a suicide vest. No Afghan or ISAF servicemembers were killed.

-- Destroyed a large weapons cache found during an operation in Kabul. The cache included 25 anti-personnel mines, 22 82 mm mortar rounds, 28 51 mm mortar rounds, 100 rocket-propelled grenades, 10 82 mm white phosphorus mortar rounds, 36 75 mm recoilless rifle rounds and 50 80 mm high-explosive mortar rounds.

In Nov. 12 operations:

-- Combined forces destroyed a significant weapons cache and detained a Taliban senior leader along with several suspected criminal associates in Helmand's Dishu district. The detained leader is known to possess and transfer IED components, and is involved in managing weapons and narcotics supply routes between Pakistan and southern Afghanistan. Security forces made the arrests after searching several compounds where Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all the occupants to exit the buildings peacefully. The forces detained the additional suspects after conducting questioning and finding numerous weapons, including a rocket-propelled grenade, pistol, hand grenade and anti-aircraft 20 mm rounds on the scene. A vehicle on the scene also tested positive for ammonium nitrate, commonly used in IEDs. No shots were fired during the operation.

-- A combined team captured a key Taliban leader with direct ties to insurgent networks in Kabul and northern Logar province. Intelligence reports led the force to a compound in Logar's Pul-e Alam district where Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully before the force cleared and secured the buildings. The force identified and peacefully detained the man and one of his associates.

-- Coalition forces killed several armed insurgents during a precision air strike in Baghlan targeting a Taliban senior leader operating in the Baghlan-e Jadid district who reportedly attacked Afghan voters at polling stations during the September parliamentary elections, and has planted IEDs along public roads. Coalition forces tracked insurgents to a remote area and, after positively identifying weapons and being careful to avoid civilian causalities, coalition forces conducted the air strike. ISAF is still gathering information to confirm the senior leader was among the insurgents killed.

-- ISAF confirmed the capture of a Haqqani Network leader who supplied weapons, vehicles and materials to insurgent fighters operating in Sabari district. Intelligence reports led the force to a compound in the Sabari district where Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, then the joint security force cleared and secured the area. After automatic weapons and explosive material were found at the scene, the security force detained the suspect and several of his associates without shots fired.

-- A suicide attacker killed one Afghan civilian during a vehicle-borne IED attack near the entrance to the coalition base Camp Julien. The attack happened after a convoy of coalition and Afghan troops departed the base south of Kabul. No Afghan or ISAF servicemembers were killed in the attack. One military vehicle was damaged.

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