Afghan, Coalition Forces Destroy Explosives Factory

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2010 - Afghan and coalition forces destroyed a Taliban bomb-making center today in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, military officials reported.

Security forces searched and destroyed more than 40 buildings near the province's Shinwari village that were part of a compound Taliban members used to build bombs and explosives. Reports also suggest some of the buildings were used for insurgent planning. Tips from local residents led the Afghan-coalition patrol to the area. Troops searched the compound, but only found explosives and bomb-making materials. After the search, the commander on the ground requested close-air support to destroy the buildings.

Also in Afghanistan today, NATO's International Security Assistance Force announced an investigation into civilian casualties in Helmand province. Five Afghans were killed recently in the province's Sangin district during an insurgent attack on local security forces. Coalition forces used small arms and artillery fire to kill the enemy fighters.

In operations yesterday:

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban leader and several other suspected insurgents in Zabul province. The Taliban leader and three suspects were detained in the Qalat district. Tips from the detained men and local residents led the joint force to another nearby location where several other suspects were apprehended.

-- In Kandahar province, Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents with ties to a bomb-making network in Kandahar district. The suspects were detained without incident.

-- In Nangarhar province's Sherzad district, security forces captured five suspected insurgents. Troops were targeting a Taliban leader connected to a number of recent attacks in the district. The suspects were detained without incident.

-- Afghan and coalition forces captured a Taliban leader and two of his associates in Paktiya province's Gardez district. He is connected to several bombing attacks against local security forces. Afghan troops found him hiding in the Gardez mosque. The men surrendered without incident.

-- In Helmand province's Gereshk district, security forces detained two suspected insurgents with ties to a Taliban bomb maker believed responsible for attacks along the province's main highway. The suspects were detained without incident.

-- In Logar province's Baraki Barak district, security forces detained a Taliban leader allegedly responsible for carrying out and planning indirect fire attacks in the area. Afghan and coalition forces detained him without incident.

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