Combined Force Arrests Taliban Leader in Helmand Province

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 7, 2013 - An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader and three other insurgents during an operation in the Lashkar Gah district of Afghanistan's Helmand province today, military officials reported.

The arrested leader oversees a group of insurgent fighters responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He also regularly provides operational updates to senior Taliban leadership and distributes weapons to other insurgent cells in the local area.

Also today, combined forces confirmed the death of Khialuddin, an insurgent leader with ties to the Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, during a May 5 operation in the Baghlan-e Jadid district of Baghlan province. Khialuddin -- also known as Shahbudin or Karwan -- directed improvised explosive device operations targeting senior government officials and Afghan and coalition forces throughout Baghlan province. He also worked with Taliban senior leaders to disseminate information to low-level insurgent fighters and facilitated money and weapons to insurgent groups.

In Afghanistan operations yesterday:

-- A combined force killed one insurgent during a search for a Taliban leader in the Shirin Tagab district of Faryab province. The sought-after insurgent leader leads a cell of 15 insurgents responsible for attacks on Afghan and coalition forces. He also arranges the purchase of weapons for Taliban operations and coordinates training for new insurgents. He and his fighters are also responsible for multiple IED attacks in the area.

-- Afghan National Army Special Forces and Afghan National Police, enabled by coalition forces, detained an IED-maker and discovered a weapons cache in Katu village in the Shinkai district of Zabul province. The cache contained three tactical vests, two rifles, IED-making materials and an unknown quantity of ammonium nitrate.

-- A combined force wounded one insurgent during a search for a Haqqani leader in the Musa Khel district of Khost province. The sought-after insurgent leader is responsible for weapons facilitation and also plans attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He also has coordinated the movement of IEDs, mortar rounds and other weapons throughout the Musa Khel district.

-- An Afghan police member apprehended a suicide bomber after an attempted attack on another police member in his home in the Sar Howzah district of Paktika province. Reportedly, the suspect entered the home, attempted to shoot the occupants with an AK-47 rifle that misfired, and then attempted to detonate his suicide vest.

In May 5 operations:

-- A combined force seized a large quantity of narcotics at a vehicle search checkpoint in the western Dashte area of Helmand province. The combined force discovered 450 kilograms of wet opium and 6 kilograms of pure heroin with an estimated street value of $200,000. The security force also seized some small-arms weapons. All of the narcotics were destroyed.

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