Combined Force Detains Insurgents After Firefight

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 19, 2013 - A combined Afghan and coalition security force detained a senior Taliban leader and several other insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Afghanistan's Helmand province today, military officials reported.

During the operation, insurgents opened fire on the security force. The security force returned fire, wounding one insurgent.

The Taliban leader is believed to control fighters responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Helmand and Kandahar provinces. He also is alleged to oversee weapons facilitation for insurgents and to have trained suicide bombers. He also is an improvised explosive device expert and passes orders from senior Taliban officials to the insurgents, officials said.

The security force seized two rifles, four magazines and 60 pounds of opium in the operation.

In other Afghanistan operations today:

-- A combined force in Logar province's Pul-e Alam district detained several insurgents and a Haqqani network facilitator believed to be a vital link in the network's IED operations.

-- In Khost province's Sabari district, a combined force detained several insurgents during a search for a Haqqani network leader who allegedly coordinates the flow of military equipment to Haqqani cells in several districts and has participated in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The security force seized an assault rifle, a pistol, three grenades, three assault rifle magazines, ammunition and bomb-making materials.

In other news, a combined force in Kandahar province's Maiwand district killed two insurgents yesterday during a search for a man believed to be one of the district's top Taliban officials. He is responsible for planning and organizing attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and facilitating the movement of supplies and weapons. He also has plotted to assassinate Afghans who support the local government and Afghan forces.

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