Airstrike in Logar Province Kills Taliban Leader

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2011 - A coalition airstrike yesterday in the Pol-e Alam district of Afghanistan's Logar province killed a Taliban logistics leader, military officials reported.

Abdul Bari facilitated weapons and vehicles on behalf of Taliban leaders and was directly associated with leaders of the attack network in and around the Afghan capital of Kabul, officials said.

He also he collected information regarding coalition forces' movements to be used in attack coordination, officials added.

In other operations yesterday:

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban leader responsible for suicide attacks, along with two other suspected insurgents, in Kandahar province's Maiwand district. He was responsible for coordinating and conducting roadside-bomb attacks against coalition forces, and recent reporting indicates he had started building a suicide vest for an upcoming attack, officials said.

-- In Wardak province's Sayyidabad district, Afghan and coalition forces detained a facilitator who manufactures roadside bombs and teaches other Taliban insurgents how to build them.

-- Afghan and coalition forces in Kandahar province's Spin Boldak district detained numerous suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban leader responsible for planning and executing attacks against coalition forces. The combined security force recovered assault rifles, chest racks, a pressure plate, a roadside-bomb detonation device, 35 blasting caps and ammunition.

-- In Khost province's Sabari district, Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator who supplies mortars and heavy weaponry to Haqqani leaders for attacks on Afghan and coalition forces.

-- Afghan and coalition forces acting on intelligence information in Nangarhar province's Sherzad district detained a suspected insurgent while searching for a Taliban leader who plans and conducts attacks against coalition forces and was subordinate to a recently detained senior Taliban leader. The combined force found an assault rifle, a pistol, a chest rack, ammunition and a large amount of marijuana at the targeted compound.

In Jan. 22 operations:

-- An Afghan police patrol spotted an insurgent planting a roadside bomb in Kandahar province's Kandahar district and killed him.

An International Security Assistance Force patrol detained numerous suspected insurgents in Paktika province's Ziruk district. One of the detainees was the Taliban's shadow governor for the Zerok area and reportedly was carrying a million Pakistan rupees, equivalent to about $11,800.

-- Acting on multiple intelligence reports and tips from local residents, patrols found weapons and bomb-making materials in Uruzgan, Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Among the items found were anti-personnel mines, mortar rounds, anti-aircraft rounds, artillery rounds, medical supplies, small arms, bomb components and red phosphorus. A suspected insurgent was detained in connection with the caches.

-- Afghan and coalition forces targeting a Taliban leader for a roadside-bomb cell detained five suspected in Farah province's Khak-e Safayd district. The targeted Taliban leader also is involved in intimidating and kidnapping Afghans who do not support the Taliban insurgency, officials said.

-- In Ghazni province, Afghan and coalition forces targeting a district Taliban leader who has direct connections with Taliban leadership and shadow governors in the area detained four suspected insurgents in the Muqer district. The district leader was involved with a complex suicide-bomber attack that killed four Afghan soldiers and wounded several other Afghan security forces members in Kabul on Dec. 19, officials said.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Haqqani leader responsible for roadside-bomb attacks Khost province's Tanai district, along with six other suspected insurgents.

In Jan. 21 operations:

-- In Lagham province's Qarghahi district, an ISAF air weapons team killed several armed insurgents after an ISAF patrol declared an imminent threat and called for air support upon seeing the insurgents moving in a fighting location that's been used in the past.

-- Two insurgents planting a roadside bomb in Helmand province's Nawah-ye Barakzai district were killed when the device detonated.

-- In Uruzgan province's Chorah district, Afghan police and an ISAF patrol found an assault rifle, three rocket-propelled grenade warheads, four RPG boosters, 120 12.7 mm rounds, 60 14.5 mm rounds and loose ammunition.

-- An ISAF patrol found three mortar fuses, homemade explosives and bomb-making components in Logar province's Baraki Barak district.

-- In Helmand province's Now Zad district, an Afghan police patrol found 16 82 mm recoilless rifle rounds, 50 mortar fuses and 54 cans of 7.62 mm rounds.

-- Afghan civilians in Zabul province's Qalat district brought 120 pounds of homemade explosives, two mines and 29 fuses to Afghan government security officials in the district.

On Jan. 21, Afghan and coalition forces targeting a Haqqani facilitator killed numerous enemy combatants and detained several others in Khost province's Sabari district. Recent reports indicate the man had multiple weapons and roadside bombs that he planned to transport and store at another insurgent's location, officials said.

Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound where armed combatants shot at them with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. The security force returned fire, killing several attackers.

While the security force was clearing one of the buildings, several women told them armed combatants were present. The security force found two combatants who had been wounded in the initial engagement, provided medical care to both, and evacuated them for further treatment.

After the compound was secure, security forces discovered that an Afghan child had been killed and two women and a child were wounded during the five-hour engagement. The coalition medical technician provided on-scene medical attention for the women and child.

"Afghan and coalition forces take every precaution to ensure the safety and security of the Afghan people during security operations. The insurgents fired on Afghan and coalition forces in the vicinity of civilians, including women and children, without regard to their safety," said Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command's combined joint operations center director. "ISAF's thoughts and concerns are with the family of the child, and we hope the two injured women and child recover quickly."

After the compound was secure, numerous suspected combatants were detained. Security forces recovered a machine gun, multiple RPGs and launchers, numerous assault rifles, chest racks, a suicide vest, a roadside bomb and ammunition from the scene. Afghan soldiers met with local officials to explain the purpose of the mission and allay concerns.

In other Jan. 21 operations:

-- In Ghazni province, Afghan and coalition forces targeting a Taliban leader for the province's Gelan district detained four suspected insurgents. The targeted man and the insurgents he leads attack Afghan and coalition forces with roadside bombs and direct and indirect fires, officials said, and target aircraft with heavy machine guns.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban leader along with another suspected insurgent in Zabul province's Qalat district. The Taliban leader was responsible for the movement of bomb-making materials and planted roadside bombs targeting coalition vehicles along Highway 1, which connects many of southern Afghanistan's provinces.

-- Coalition forces targeting the Taliban's shadow governor for, Laghman province's Hisarak district killed more than 10 insurgents with two precision airstrikes. The targeted Taliban leader has attacked Afghan government officials and coalition forces, officials said, and recent reports indicate he has acquired bomb components, machine guns and rockets for future attacks.

ISAF officials later confirmed that the shadow governor, Maulawi Anwar, was among the insurgents killed.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban facilitator who operates in Logar and Paktia provinces during an operation in Logar province's Pul-e Alam district. The Taliban facilitator operated in both Logar's Pul-e Alam district and Paktia's Gardez district, where he distributes equipment to Taliban insurgents, officials said, and recent reports indicate he planned to provide another Taliban insurgent with bomb components.

In other news, an Afghan civilian turned in 19 82 mm mortar rounds, 12 81 mm mortar rounds, bomb-making chemicals and propellant for rockets to an ISAF forward operating base in Kapisa province's Tagab district Jan. 20, and ISAF Joint Command officials reported several recent incidents in which insurgents killed and wounded Afghan civilians:

-- Two Afghan children were killed and four others were wounded in Helmand province's Nahr-e Saraj district yesterday when insurgent indirect-fire rounds struck an area where villagers were congregated, killing one child and wounding five others. U.S. Special Forces coordinated immediate evacuation of the injured children. Insurgents continued firing when helicopters arrived to transport the wounded children to a hospital. An air weapons team provided security support for the medical evacuation, and one of the children died after arriving at the hospital.

-- In Badghis province's Qades district yesterday, villagers notified Afghan and ISAF forces, and special operations forces confirmed, that an Afghan boy was shot and killed by insurgents.

-- In Ghazni province's Muqer district Jan. 22, a combined coalition and Afghan patrol was attacked by insurgents with mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades. The insurgent fire hit Afghan civilians in the nearby Yarbi Kala village. After gaining positive identification, the combined patrol returned fire and immediately secured the site, rendering first aid to the injured. The insurgents fled after their rounds hit the village.

A Jan. 21 accident claimed the life of an Afghan woman, who was struck by a vehicle during an ISAF patrol in Herat province. The convoy stopped, and the woman was taken to a medical treatment facility, where she died.

"This is a deeply regrettable accident," said Air Force Col. Charles Toplikar, ISAF Joint Command combined joint operations center director. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time."

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