Coalition Forces Obtain More Contraband Munitions

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2010 - International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan's Kandahar province obtained more contraband munitions today, military officials reported.

A local Afghan who'd previously turned in dozens of explosive devices returned to a coalition outpost with 60 additional directional fragmentation charges. All of the devices contained detonation cord. The explosives will be combined with the 65 explosive devices the man previously turned in and will be safely destroyed.

Also, coalition forces discovered 100, 100 mm high-explosive rounds while conducting a patrol in Kandahar province's Spin Boldak district. A safety cordon was established around the explosives and they will be safely destroyed.

In other Afghanistan news today:

-- Afghan and coalition forces killed Ansari Khan, a Haqqani network leader who coordinated and conducted attacks against coalition forces operating in Sabari district during an operation in Khost province. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound east of Gurchak in Sabari district. As the security force was preparing to search the compound, two armed insurgents threw a grenade and then fired at the joint force. The combined security force returned fire, killing the insurgents, including Ansari Khan. The assault force found multiple automatic weapons and grenades on the insurgents. Additionally, an armed individual from a targeted building was killed after he confronted the security force with an automatic weapon. After de-escalating the situation, the security force cleared and secured the building without incident, securing the automatic weapon, a rifle and multiple magazines. The security force also discovered a woman who had suffered minor injuries as a result of a ricochet. The security force provided medical treatment at the scene, and the woman did not require medical evacuation. Afghan and coalition forces never intentionally target women and children during these operations, and civilian injuries are taken very seriously. The security force detained one suspected insurgent for further questioning.

-- ISAF confirmed that Shirin Agha, a Taliban senior military leader, was killed Oct. 11 during a coalition force precision air strike in Kunduz province. Shirin Agha operated in the Gor Tappa area of Kunduz and was responsible for conducting attacks against Afghan and coalition forces operating in the province. He was well connected with Taliban leaders throughout the province, financing their activities and facilitating their housing. Afghan and coalition forces have successfully targeted Taliban leadership throughout northern Afghanistan. Operations over the last month have resulted in 18 senior leaders killed or captured. "Each insurgent leader removed from the battlefield further establishes security and opportunity for area residents," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "Afghan and coalition forces have significantly reduced the insurgent's capability to effectively execute terrorist operations. Afghan and coalition forces will continue targeting those who stand in the way of peace and stability." Based on intelligence sources, coalition forces tracked multiple insurgents to a remote area of Kunduz district. After verifying insurgent activity and careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition aircraft conducted the precision air strike, killing Shirin Agha and one of his associates. Initial reports indicate no civilians were killed or wounded during the strike.

-- ISAF confirmed the capture of a Taliban senior leader, who used suicide bombers and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices to conduct attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, during an Oct. 11 operation in Wardak province. Based on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a compound in Kodgai village of Nerkh district to search for the individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning of the residents at the scene, the security force detained the senior leader along with three of his associates.

In yesterday's Afghanistan news:

-- An Afghan and coalition force seized 600 kilograms of wet opium and discovered two drug labs in Helmand province's Maiwand district. The joint patrol was in the vicinity of Wushtan village when they noticed a suspicious area. Further investigation of the area revealed two narcotics laboratories. During a search of the laboratories, the patrol discovered the opium. The laboratories and narcotics were destroyed.

-- Afghan and coalition forces targeted a Taliban senior leader in Qal'ah-ye Now, Murghab and Muqor districts of Badghis province, killing several insurgents in a joint operation in western Herat province. The Taliban leader is believed to be responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, as well as kidnapping operations. He also reportedly planned and directed a recent ambush that killed two Spanish soldiers. Intelligence sources tracked a group of armed insurgents, traveling in desolate terrain in Obeh district. During the initial clearance of the area, the security force took fire from the insurgents. The security force responded, killing the insurgents. After the area was secure, the joint force recovered multiple automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, along with a machine gun and suicide vest, at the scene. The Afghan and coalition force's deliberate campaign to disrupt Taliban operations in Badghis and neighboring Faryab provinces has resulted in numerous Taliban senior leaders killed, including the shadow governors for Badghis and Faryab provinces, and one captured, during several operations over the last two weeks. ISAF still is gathering information to determine if the targeted individual for this operation was among those killed.

-- An Afghan and coalition force captured a Taliban improvised explosive device senior leader operating in Kandahar City, along with one of his associates, during an operation in the city. The targeted individual distributed IED components to Taliban senior leaders operating in Kandahar City, and facilitated indiscriminate IED ambushes and attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. Intelligence tips led the security force to a series of compounds in Kandahar City. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint force cleared and secured the compounds. After initial questioning of the residents at the scene, the security force detained the targeted individual and his associate.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents in two operations in southern Afghanistan aimed at capturing Taliban leadership. Afghan and coalition security forces targeted the leader of a Taliban facilitation cell that specializes in logistics support and guidance for Taliban improvised explosive device leaders. He also reportedly transported a thousand pounds of homemade explosives from Pakistan to Zabul province. The security force targeted a compound in the village of Sargon Kalay in Tarnek Wa Jaldak district to look for the targeted individual, who regularly moves weapons and foreign fighters from Pakistan into the province. Afghan forces called for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully before the joint force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained one suspected insurgent. In Helmand province, a separate security force targeted a Taliban judge with influence in Nad Ali and Marjah districts. The assault force targeted a compound in remote Marjah district in pursuit of the judge. After an Afghan-led call-out, the joint force cleared and secured the area. The joint security force detained several suspected insurgents after questioning the residents at the scene.

-- Afghan and coalition forces conducted a deliberate clearing operation aimed at disrupting the Taliban's freedom of movement outside Kandahar City. The security force discovered and destroyed several house-borne improvised explosive devices throughout the operation. The joint security force is continuing their efforts to disrupt enemy safe havens in Kandahar province, where Taliban leaders use villages throughout the area to conduct operational planning and prepare for attacks. This operation focused on an area near the village Hajji Soltanmohammad Khan in Panjwa'i district. Afghan and coalition forces cleared several compounds in the area and discovered that many were rigged with tripwire explosives, IEDs and anti-personnel mines. Additionally, the security force detained two suspected insurgents during the operation. After the security force departed the area and ensured no civilians were present, coalition aircraft and ground forces conducted precision strikes, destroying the compounds. "As a result of these clearing operations, dozens of dangerous IEDs have been destroyed, severely disrupting Taliban activity and making the areas much safer for its residents," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "Additionally, these operations pave the way for counterinsurgency efforts, which will eventually leave Afghans equipped to maintain their own security and governance without the fear of Taliban threats."

-- Afghan and ISAF servicemembers conducted a search and rescue mission for an airplane that crashed in the mountains near Kabul. The crash occurred about 25 to 30 kilometers east of Kabul International Airport. Early reports indicate the plane is an L-100 Hercules aircraft, the civilian equivalent of a military C-130. The plane was not an ISAF aircraft.

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