Troops Follow Intelligence Leads, Detain Insurgents

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2010 - Afghan and coalition security forces followed intelligence leads and captured more than 20 insurgents yesterday in their search for Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network leadership operating in eastern and southern Afghanistan, military officials reported.

The partnered security forces detained the insurgents during three separate operations, officials said.

In the Nawah-ye Barakzai district of Helmand province, Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents during an operation aimed at capturing a Taliban leader who recently returned from Pakistan and has been trying to provide leadership to Taliban members in the province's Nawah district since their district leader was detained in October.

The Taliban leader is directly involved in planning attacks against Afghan and coalition security members and facilitating roadside-bomb components and reportedly has been involved in planning a large-scale attack, officials said. The combined team destroyed several weapons during the search in addition to detaining the suspected insurgents.

A partnered security force in Paktia province's Zurmat district detained nine suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban leader who is linked to multiple kidnappings and murders of Afghan civilians suspected of supporting the Afghan government or having Afghan voter cards, officials said.

In Khost province's Sabari district, partnered Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a senior Haqqani leader who coordinates the movement of weapons and bomb-making materials and plans attacks.

In other news from Afghanistan:

-- International Security Assistance Force officials confirmed the Nov. 14 capture of a Taliban leader operating in Paktia province's Zurmat district.

-- Afghan and ISAF forces detained a Taliban leader and six other men in Helmand province's Nad-e Ali district Nov. 13. The Taliban leader planned, coordinated and executed roadside-bomb attacks and also been directly involved with Taliban leaders in Pakistan in facilitating suicide-bomber attacks.

-- Afghan and ISAF forces found weapons and roadside-bomb components in seven southern and eastern Afghanistan locations over the past two days. The caches were found in Kandahar, Uruzgan and Kunar provinces, and included three 64 mm mortars, a 65 mm mortar, two 82 mm shells, three 57 mm shells, 25 rocket-propelled grenades, 11 fragmentation high-explosive rounds, 1,800 7.62 mm rounds and an anti-personnel mine. Combined forces also found 31 pressure plates, nine batteries, three blasting caps and 150 pounds of homemade explosives in Helmand province, and an Afghan army patrol found 30 directional anti-personnel mines, multiple weapons and ammunition in Kandahar province.

-- Acting on intelligence information and tips from local residents, Afghan and ISAF forces detained two men and seized a large quantity of narcotics in Nimroz province's Chakhansur district Nov. 13. The combined force attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle that appeared to have numerous bags consistent with narcotics trafficking. As the force attempted to stop the vehicle, the occupants started shooting at them and attempted to flee. The security force returned fire, wounding one of the occupants and disabling the vehicle. After securing the site, the security force provided medical attention to the wounded man and found more than 1,800 pounds of opium, 425 pounds of crystal heroin, almost 210 pounds of brown heroin and several automatic weapons and associated ammunition in the vehicle.

-- Several Afghan civilians were killed, including a child, and several others were wounded during insurgent attacks in southern, eastern and northern Afghanistan today. A suicide bomber killed a tribal leader and wounded five Afghan civilians in Uruzgan province's Chorah district. An insurgent-planted roadside bomb in Paktika province's Bermal district killed an Afghan child. In Kunduz province, two Afghan civilians were killed and eight others -- including the mayor of Kunduz -- were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in the province's Khanabad district.

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