Combined Force Kills Taliban Leader in Ghazni

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2010 - An Afghan and coalition force killed a Taliban leader and facilitator during an intelligence-driven overnight operation in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, military officials reported.

The Taliban leader distributed bombs and bomb components to insurgent groups in the area, and reportedly distributed more than 90 roadside bombs during the September parliamentary elections, officials said.

As the security force approached the targeted compound in the Ghazni district, a man carrying a weapon ran out and tried to hide. The security force pursued him in an attempt to capture him peacefully, but when he threatened the security force, they shot and killed him. The security force subsequently identified him as Mirza Jan, the operation's target.

In other operations yesterday:

-- A partnered Afghan and coalition security force targeting the Taliban district leader for Helmand province's Garm Ser district, who also leads a roadside-bomb attack cell, detained two suspected insurgents during an overnight intelligence-driven operation. The security force also found 30 pounds of opium at the scene.

-- Also in Helmand, a separate security force targeted a Taliban facilitator who acquires funds, transfers supplies and handles logistical concerns for Taliban operatives in the Nahr-e Saraj district, detaining two suspected insurgents.

-- In Kandahar province, Afghan and coalition security forces targeted a compound west of Kandahar City to search for a Taliban facilitator associated with a vehicle-borne bombing attack against Combat Outpost Senjarray earlier this month, detaining two suspected insurgents.

-- An operation in Paktika province's Nikeh district targeting a Haqqani terrorist network leader who coordinates attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and leads a group of fighters resulted in one suspected insurgent detained.

-- Acting on intelligence information, a combined Afghan and coalition security force just outside Farah province's Bala Boluk district captured a senior Taliban leader for the province's Posht-e Rod and Gulistan districts. He was responsible for planning and directing roadside-bomb attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, and reportedly was preparing for upcoming remote-controlled bomb attacks and ambushes in the area, officials said.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban roadside-bomb facilitator and attack planner, along with two of his associates, in Kabul province's Musahi district. He maintained constant contact with insurgent attack cells connected to attempted attacks throughout July's International Peace Conference in the Afghan capital of Kabul and Afghanistan's parliamentary elections in September.

-- An Afghan and coalition force killed two insurgents during an overnight operation in Nangarhar province's Sherzad district, targeting a Taliban facilitator known to provide weapons and explosives to senior Taliban leaders in Kabul and Nangarhar provinces. He reportedly uses his residences to house insurgents receiving roadside-bomb training. As the security force approached the targeted compound, they saw armed insurgents come out. The security force attempted to interdict the group peacefully, but the insurgents attacked with small-arms fire. The security force responded, killing at least two insurgents carrying automatic weapons and pistols. Officials said they're still gathering information to determine whether the targeted Taliban leader was one of the insurgents killed.

-- A combined security patrol detained two targeted insurgents and found a weapons cache in Logar province's Muhammad Aghah district. Multiple intelligence reports and tips from local residents led the security force to the location of two insurgents and a weapons cache that was to be moved to Kabul.

The security detained the targeted insurgents and found seven 82 mm high-explosive mortar rounds and 100 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition at the scene.

-- An Afghan and coalition force captured a Taliban facilitator of weapons and bomb-making materials during an intelligence-driven overnight operation in Ghazni province.

International Security Assistance Force officials said Afghan and coalition forces protected any women and children present during the operations.

In other news from Afghanistan, ISAF officials are looking into the possibility that three Afghan civilians were inadvertently killed and another was wounded by ISAF forces during combat operations with insurgents in Helmand province's Sangin district today.

Four Afghan civilians were brought to a nearby ISAF base following the engagement; three died, and one was wounded.

"Our thoughts and concerns are with the families of this terrible accident," said Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.

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