Forces Detain Numerous Insurgents in Afghanistan

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2011 - Afghan and coalition forces today detained numerous suspected insurgents during a security operation targeting a Haqqani Network facilitator in the Sayyid Karam district of Paktiya province, military officials reported.

The man is believed to plan high-profile attacks in the district and has close associations with other facilitators and prominent Haqqani leaders. The combined force was led to the target compound based on intelligence tips.

The suspects were detained for further questioning. An AK-47 rifle and multiple grenades were found on the premises. No shots were fired in the operation.

In other Afghanistan news, Afghan and International Security Assistance Force troops have seized numerous weapons caches throughout Afghanistan since the beginning of the year, mostly in the South. Confiscated weapons and bomb-making materials include more than 32,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, 40 pounds of magnesium, 5,550 feet of detonation cord and wire, 400 mortar rounds, 150 landmines, 400 hand grenades and 60 rocket-propelled grenade launchers with 260 rounds and 200 pressure plates. Various small arms also were discovered, including 200 AK-47 rifles with nearly 40,000 rounds of ammunition. The caches also yielded blasting caps, saw blades, ball bearings, hundreds of pounds of shrapnel, two 66-pound barrels of homemade explosives, suicide vests, and other types of explosives and bombs.

Since January, almost three times as many weapons caches were discovered compared to the same time last year. As cache discoveries increased, so have the number of community tips and turn-ins. Almost 10 percent of the discoveries came from the help of local Afghans.

In operations yesterday, a combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader and two suspected insurgents during an operation in the Baghlan-e Jadid district of Baghlan province. The leader was an improvised-explosive-device expert directly responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He also was a key member in the Baghlan suicide-attack network.

In April 6 operations:

-- Afghan and ISAF troops reclaimed a key checkpoint in the Shahid-e Hassas district of Uruzgan province. The checkpoint was taken from local Afghan police March 23 when insurgents attacked and killed a police commander in Kakrak village. During the attack, after firing at a nearby mosque, insurgents also killed several Afghan civilians, including a young boy. While recovering the checkpoint, the Afghan-led combined forces were engaged by insurgents with small-arms fire. The combined forces returned fire, forcing the insurgents to flee.

-- In the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, an ISAF patrol was engaged by several insurgents with small-arms and machine-gun fire. After gaining positive identification, coalition forces returned fire, killing two insurgents and forcing the others to flee.

-- In Kandahar province, during separate clearing operations, Afghan and ISAF troops discovered several weapons and IED-making components caches in the Panjwa'i and Nahr-e Saraj districts. The caches contained one AK-47 rifle, 840 7.62 mm rounds, two grenades, two rocket-propelled grenade rounds, two 155 mm artillery shells, 35 pressure plates, homemade explosives and IED-making electrical components.

-- During a clearing operation in the Koh-e Safi district of Parwan province, an ISAF patrol came under fire from several insurgents. Coalition forces returned fire, killing two insurgents.

-- In the Sayyidabad district of Wardak province, an Afghan National Police and ISAF patrol discovered a narcotics cache consisting of 200 pounds of marijuana.

-- In the Zurmat district of Paktiya province, a combined Afghan and coalition forces patrol retrieved a weapons cache consisting of 1,100 7.62 mm rounds, one full AK-47 rifle magazine and five pistols.

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