Monday, February 16, 2009

OEF Summary, Feb. 16, 2009: Precision Air Strike Kills Militants in Badghis Province

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 16, 2009 -- Coalition forces used a precision air strike near Darya-ye-Morghab, Badghis province, Feb. 15, targeting the Taliban leader of Badghis province and eight of his associates.

Coalition forces learned through intelligence sources that Mullah Dastighir and a group of associates were co-located in Darya-ye-Morghab, a village near the Turkmenistan border, approximately 550 km west of Kabul.

Once the exact location of the militants was confirmed, forces engaged the target compound with a precision air strike, destroying a building and killing the militants inside. Surrounding structures remained intact, sustaining minimal external damage from fragmentation.

Dastighir was responsible for an increase in violence in Badghis over recent months, including attacks against Afghan National Security Forces and International Security Assistance Forces. In November, Dastighir was responsible for an attack on an Afghan National Army convoy that killed 13 soldiers.

In other news, Afghan National Police and Coalition forces detained a suspected improvised explosive device facilitator, Feb. 15, while conducting a search of a compound in the Gereshk district of Helmand Province, which is approximately 115 km northeast of Kandahar.

The detained individual is suspected of distributing IED-making materials to insurgent commanders throughout the Gereshk district and surrounding areas.

During the search the combined force discovered a bag of IED-making materials.

"The ANP force will continue working with Coalition forces to bring security to the Afghan people," said Zemarai Bashary, the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior. "The ANP, as one of the most visible extensions of our government, are part of the foundation of security and the bridge to a better future for the people of Afghanistan."

No ANP, Coalition forces or civilian casualties were reported during this operation.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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