Forces Arrest Taliban, Haqqani Leaders in Afghanistan

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 21, 2012 - Afghan and coalition security forces arrested a Taliban leader, as well as a Haqqani chief, during a security operation in the Sayyid Karam district of Pakitya province today, military officials reported.

The detained Taliban leader is linked to the Nov. 10, 2011, suicide attack that resulted in the deaths of Afghan police officers in the Tsamkani district of Paktiya province.

The detained Haqqani leader is a suspected improvised explosive device expert who is believed to have constructed IEDs, planned their use and facilitated their movement throughout the region to attack Afghan and coalition forces, officials said.

One armed insurgent was killed during the operation, officials said. As the security force attempted to enter the Taliban leader's compound, the armed insurgent fired upon Afghan and coalition troops. The security force returned fire, killing the armed insurgent. No civilians were harmed in the exchange.

The security force also detained several suspected insurgents and seized one assault rifle and Taliban paraphernalia, officials said.

In other operations today:

-- In the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, a combined force arrested several suspects during a search for a Taliban leader. The sought-after Taliban leader is suspected of conducting insurgent operations throughout northern Helmand, in addition to providing equipment and supplies for attacks on Afghan and coalition forces.

-- A combined force detained multiple suspects during a search for a senior Taliban leader in the Atghar district of Zabul province. The sought-after Taliban leader is linked to insurgent activity and attacks throughout the Atghar district. He is also believed to command several dozen insurgent fighters in Zabul province.

-- In the Pul-e 'Alam district of Logar province, a combined force arrested a suspected Haqqani leader, who's linked to attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the district, as well as supporting other Haqqani leaders throughout the region. The arrested Haqqani leader is linked to an insurgent network which was responsible for ambushes and mortar attacks. The security force also detained one other suspect.

-- A combined force detained several suspects and seized an assault rifle during a search for a Taliban weapons dealer in the Sayyidabad district of Wardak province. The sought-after weapons dealer is alleged to be responsible for providing weapons, ammunition and IEDs for insurgent attacks.

In operations yesterday:

-- Mullah Naim, the senior Taliban leader for the Balkh district of Balkh province, was killed by a combined force. No civilians were harmed during the operation. Mullah Naim -- also known as Mutaqi, Khodai Nur and Mullah Ayeno -- was responsible for insurgent activity throughout the region. He was also believed to be one of the key figures behind a recent IED attack in Mazar-e Sharif that killed several Afghan civilians. The security force also detained one suspect and seized multiple firearms, grenades and explosives.

-- A combined force killed a group of armed insurgents during a vehicle interdiction and narcotics recovery operation in the Nimroz district of Helmand province. Drugs found in the vehicles included 5,000 pounds of dry opium, 330 pounds of wet opium, 1,873 pounds of brown heroin and one bag of hashish. The security force also seized some machine guns, ammunition and magazines. The drugs were destroyed.

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