Combined Force Seizes Taliban Leader

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2012 - An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader and detained one additional suspected insurgent during an operation in the Nahr-E Saraj district of Afghanistan's Helmand province today, military officials reported.

The leader was a Taliban-appointed deputy and head of the insurgent group's military commission in Badghis province, officials said. The captured leader arranged large-scale attacks, distributed weapons and collected taxes. He also represented both the Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan groups and was responsible for coordinating insurgent activities in Badghis and Faryab provinces.

In Afghanistan operations yesterday:

-- In the Bakwaw district of Farah province, a combined force detained three suspects and discovered a drug and weapons cache. The cache contained approximately 1,100 pounds of opium, 16 improvised explosive devices, several containers of explosive-making materials, $1.5 million in Pakistani currency and a motorcycle rigged with explosives to be used as a suicide vehicle-borne IED. The weapons were destroyed.

In Feb. 1 Afghanistan operations:

-- A combined force liberated a kidnapped Afghan citizen, detained several suspected insurgents and seized multiple small arms, ammunition and tactical vests in the Khoghjani district of Ghazni province. The rescued hostage received medical attention and was taken to a coalition hospital for further observation. No civilians were harmed and no shots were fired during the operation.

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