Forces Capture Terror Group's Top Leader

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2011 - Combined forces captured the top Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan terrorist group leader in Afghanistan April 20 in the Khanabad district of Afghanistan's Kunduz province, military officials reported today.

Troops had been conducting clearing operations in search of the leader for several weeks, officials said, noting he's the direct contact between Taliban leaders in Afghanistan and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leadership in Pakistan, and is responsible for training and operations in both countries.

NATO and Afghan forces throughout Afghanistan have killed more than 20 Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan terrorists in the past two months, including four senior leaders, officials added.

In operations yesterday throughout Afghanistan:

-- Afghan and coalition forces killed several insurgents in a gun battle after being ambushed in Paktika province's Yahya Khel district. Ground forces returned fire and held off the attack until a coalition air weapons team arrived.

-- Combined forces detained several suspected Taliban operatives in Badghis province's Murghab district, in an operation to uncover a Taliban safe haven allegedly used as a supply and weapons point. The operation also resulted in seizure of an assault rifle with associated ammunition, a pistol and bomb-making materials.

-- Security forces in Zabul province's Shah Joy district detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban weapons trafficker. The weapons trafficker also is responsible for financing attacks against security forces. Troops also found and destroyed bomb-making materials.

-- In Logar province's Charkh district, forces detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban leader who leads an insurgent cell responsible for numerous attacks.

-- Security forces detained numerous suspected insurgents while searching for a Haqqani network terrorist responsible for directing, planning and carrying out attacks on security forces in Paktia province's Shwak district.

-- A combined force captured two Taliban leaders in Nangarhar province's Sherzad district. One is a weapons trafficker and planner, while the other is responsible for planning operations in the area.

-- Based on tips from local residents in Kandahar province's Zharay district, troops captured the leader of all Taliban operations in the district and one of his associates.

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