Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Successful Joint Operations Conducted Against Kabul Bombers

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 27, 2009 -- Afghan national security forces supported by International Security Assistance Force conducted successful operations to apprehend insurgents responsible for the suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device near the German Embassy in Kabul.

Less than a week after the SVBIED attack that took place outside the German Embassy/Camp Eggers in Kabul on Jan. 17, three insurgents were detained and one insurgent was killed. All four men are suspected of being directly linked with the bombing, which killed one person and injured numerous others – most of the victims were local Kabul civilians.

The operation involved multiple units of the Afghan national security forces, including the Afghan national police, Afghan national army and the Afghan national directorate of security. The ANSF required only minimal ISAF involvement.

The main operation involved two separate operations and was a deliberate response aimed at capturing senior insurgents who both planned and facilitated the German Embassy/Camp Eggers attack. No shots were fired in the Kabul city operation and only two shots were fired during the Logar province operation. No civilians were injured or killed, and no compounds destroyed.

"The U.S. military members in Afghanistan thank the ANSF for their swift action to bring those responsible for last week's bombing to justice," said Col. Greg Julian, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan spokesperson. "These precision operations, executed less than a week after the event, clearly demonstrate the competence and skill of the Afghan forces."

Sar Gul was detained during the operation in Kabul city and is suspected of being a senior facilitator of suicide bombings. He was apprehended in the early hours of Jan. 23. His capture brings to justice one of the key planners and facilitators of the Jan. 17 attack as well as severely damaging the insurgents’ capability to conduct future IED attacks within Kabul.

Mullah Zahir was a known insurgent leader responsible for the planning and execution of insurgent attacks in both Kabul and Logar province – particularly against the ANSF and ISAF. He was directly linked to the planning of the German Embassy/Camp Eggers suicide bombing and is believed to have orchestrated other IED attacks against innocent civilians in 2008. Zahir was killed as he attempted to attack the ANSF who were in the process of detaining him during the overnight raid in the Logar province.

These operations were completely successful, locating both targets quickly and professionally. The capture of the insurgents responsible for the Kabul SVBIED attack reflects the significant capability of the ANSF and their ability to deliver justice for the people of Kabul and Logar.

The Minister of Interior, Mohammad Hanif Atmar said “this successful operation against insurgent forces yet again demonstrates the increased capability of the ANSF. Together with our international partners, the ANSF dealt a severe blow to the insurgent campaign and brought to justice those responsible for recent bombings in our country. Let this be a warning to the enemies of Afghanistan, your actions will not go unpunished and those that bring terror to our lives will be found and punished.

The Ministry of Defense spokesperson, General Zanir Azimi, praised the ANSF involved in the operation saying “the ANSF executed a complex and detailed operation to capture those responsible for the Jan. 17 cowardly attack which injured innocent Afghans. The ANSF are to be congratulated for their bravery and professionalism. They are true Afghans and serve their country with great pride and honour.

This latest operation is part of a series of successful operations led by the ANSF and supported by ISAF. In December 2008, Muhammed Bobi who had a history of being involved with suicide bombings, kidnapping and torture was killed during an operation. Similarly, Tottee Agha was detained in a separate operation after being responsible for the planning and leadership of attacks against ANSF and ISAF soldiers.

“The ability of the ANSF to find and capture insurgents will lead to better security, and demonstrates the increasing sophistication of ANSF operations and intelligence,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Blanchette, ISAF spokesperson.

(Report from an International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan Public Affairs Office news release.)

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