Force Arrests Taliban Leader Linked to Bastion Attack

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 18, 2012 - An Afghan and coalition security force today arrested one of the Taliban leaders behind the Sept. 14 Camp Bastion attack, military officials reported.

The Taliban leader was taken into custody in Helmand province's Nad-e Ali district following joint efforts by Afghan and coalition forces to track down the Taliban insurgents responsible for the attack, officials said. No civilians were harmed during the operation.

The Taliban leader is suspected to have provided support to the insurgents whose attack killed two International Security Assistance Force service members and caused damage to multiple aircraft. ISAF forces killed all but one of the attacking insurgents, who was wounded and is in ISAF custody.

The security force also detained two suspected insurgents as a result of this operation, officials said.

In other operations today:

-- A combined force arrested the leader of a Taliban attack cell and seized dozens of improvised explosive device-making components in the Nahr-e Shahi district of Balkh province. The arrested Taliban leader was known as an IED expert and is believed to deploy IEDs in frequent attacks in addition to providing them to other insurgents operating in the region.

-- An Afghan-led, coalition-supported force arrested a Haqqani network leader, detained two other suspects and seized several firearms in the Nadir Shah Kot district of Khost province. The Haqqani leader is suspected of planning and directing attacks throughout the region, often collaborating with senior Haqqani leaders in Pakistan. Prior to his arrest, he is believed to have orchestrated an IED attack that injured two Afghan soldiers.

-- A combined force killed an armed insurgent, detained another suspect, seized firearms and safely destroyed explosives during a search for a Haqqani leader in the Pul-e Alam district of Logar province. As the security force approached the leader's suspected location, an armed insurgent maneuvered from the compound and opened fire on the Afghan and coalition troops. The security force returned fire, killing the armed insurgent. No civilians were harmed in the exchange.

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