Combined Force Captures Taliban Leader

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 23, 2011 - A combined Afghan and coalition security force today captured a Taliban leader and four associates in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Afghanistan's Helmand province, military officials reported.

Wali Mohammad and four companions were returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan, officials said. The security force received information that the Taliban leader was visiting southern Afghanistan after being in hiding in Pakistan for several years.

Mohammad directed attacks that killed multiple civilians in southern Afghanistan. He also is linked to high-level Taliban leaders within the insurgents' network.

Some bomb-making materials were confiscated during the operation.

Also, a combined patrol seized a drug cache today in Helmand's Nawah-ye Barakzai district, officials said. The cache contained 20 pounds of ammonium nitrate and 400 pounds of poppy seeds. Ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, also can be used to construct bombs.

Additionally, a combined force today discovered a weapons cache containing seven mortars and 35 explosive munitions in the Shindand district of Herat province.

In Afghanistan operations yesterday:

-- A coalition force seized a weapons cache containing nine 122mm artillery rounds and two 115mm artillery rounds in the Bagram district of Parwan province.

-- A combined force detained two suspects while searching for a Haqqani network member in the Pul-e 'Alam district of Logar province. The man distributes weapons to Haqqani fighters and conducts attacks in the district.

-- A combined force captured a Haqqani network leader and detained two suspects in Logar's Pul-e 'Alam district.

-- A combined force captured a Taliban leader and two suspects in Nangarhar province's Bati Kot district.

-- A combined force captured a Haqqani network leader and one suspect in the Zarghun Shahr district of Paktika province. The leader coordinated roadside bomb attacks against Afghan forces.

-- A combined force detained several suspects and seized some firearms and grenades during a search for a Haqqani network leader in the Sabari district of Khost province. The leader constructs and places roadside bombs and sells weapons to insurgents.

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