War on Terrorism

Friday, July 23, 2010

Afghan-International Forces Make Progress Across Afghanistan

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

July 23, 2010 - Afghan-international forces seized enemy weapons caches, captured or killed numerous insurgents, and reopened a long-closed school during recent operations conducted across Afghanistan, military officials reported.

In yesterday's Afghanistan news:

-- An Afghan National Directorate of Security force discovered a large quantity of improvised explosive device-making material in a rock quarry in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province last night. The cache contained about 1,900 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, more than 5,400 electronic fuses, about 3,200 meters of detonation cord and 275 kilograms of black powder. The ammonium nitrate and black powder alone could be used to make more than 100 IEDs. The Afghan force asked for International Security Assistance Force help in destroying the cache.

"This find demonstrates the ever-increasing capability of the Afghan National Security Forces to operate independently," Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director, said. "It also takes a large number of potential IEDs out of the hands of the insurgents whose indiscriminate use of IEDs endangers innocent Afghan civilians as well as Afghan and coalition forces."

-- Afghan and coalition forces captured a Taliban improvised explosive device facilitator in the Behsud district of Nangarhar province last night. The security force targeted a compound outside Jalalabad in pursuit of the facilitator and Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit the buildings. After the occupants were interviewed, one of them led the security force to a different compound where he thought the targeted individual was residing. Once the second compound was secure, the combined security force detained the facilitator who peacefully surrendered and identified himself to the security force. No shots were fired and the women and children present were protected by the security force.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected insurgents in Ghazni province last night while in pursuit of a Taliban subcommander who facilitates weapons and provides operations support for the Taliban in the area. The security force went to a remote compound in Gelan district to search the area. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for the occupants to exit the buildings and then cleared the compound. After the compound was secure, the security force detained two suspected insurgents for further questioning. No shots were fired and the women and children present were protected throughout the search.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces last night struck at the Taliban leadership in Kandahar, capturing a senior Taliban commander and a member of the district military commission in Nad 'Ali, Helmand province, who commands the movement of insurgent fighters and equipment through the Nad 'Ali district. The joint security force also detained another suspected insurgent in the same operation. The joint security force targeted a compound in Daman district on the outskirts of Kandahar City. All of the residents complied with the instructions of the joint security force and peacefully exited the compound. After interviewing the residents, two suspected insurgents were detained for further questioning including a senior Taliban leader and one additional suspected insurgent.

In July 21 Afghanistan news:

-- Afghan National Security Forces with International Security Assistance Force partners officially reopened a school that had been closed for 12 months due to facilities falling into disrepair. Over the last two months, the combined force engaged local tradesmen to build a new wall and metal gates, a school yard, plant trees and bushes, repair the existing water pump, install new windows and build new chairs and benches for the students. The reconstruction work now allows students to attend classes four days a week. Prior to the official opening, Afghan officials and local elders distributed school supplies to the approximately 200 students who attend the school each day. Extra school supplies have been given to the school for the expected 500 students who will attend the school in the future.

A local Afghan leader said, "It is magnificent that we are here today at the reopened school. Much has improved with the security situation to allow the school to reopen, and we are thankful of the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team and Lithuanians for rebuilding the school." Combined forces are committed to assisting the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in rebuilding and repairing education infrastructure to educate Afghanistan's children.

In July 20 Afghanistan news:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force killed several insurgents and captured an improvised explosive device maker along with additional suspected insurgents in Kunduz province. The security force went to the first of a series of targeted compounds in the village of Qareh Khani in the Chahar Darah district in pursuit of a Taliban sub-commander who facilitates weapons and orders IED and rocket attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit the targeted compounds.

One heavily armed individual ran outside the compound and engaged the security force. The combined force returned fire, killing the insurgent. The combined force then moved to clear and secure the building. While clearing the area, the security force was engaged by an insurgent barricaded within one of the buildings and another insurgent in the courtyard. Returning fire, the assault force killed the insurgents. After the compound was cleared and secured, the assault force detained the IED maker and an additional suspected insurgent for further questioning.

Evidence collected at the scene directly linked the IED maker to a pressure plate IED attack that occurred less than three kilometers from the targeted compound on April 14. Additionally, several other IED related incidents have occurred in the immediate area over the last two years. IED materials including blasting caps and wire were found at the compound.

"This is another key capture toward ensuring the safety of the innocent Afghan civilians residing in Chahar Darah district," said Col. James Dawkins, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "The Taliban's indiscriminate use of such tactics has killed hundreds of innocent civilians just this year."

At the second compound, two armed males ran from the buildings into some thick vegetation. Afghan forces called for the individuals to peacefully surrender however, they engaged the combined force and were subsequently killed. After the compound was cleared and secured, the security force questioned the remaining residents. One suspected insurgent was detained by the security force for further questioning. The women and children present were protected throughout the searches.

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