Tuesday, March 10, 2009

OEF Summary, March 10, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Capture Bombing Suspects, Seize Taliban Supplies

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2009 -- Afghan and coalition forces today captured 10 suspects during operations to degrade terrorist networks in eastern Afghanistan, military officials reported.

In Nanagarhar province’s Shiwzad district, southeast of Kabul, Afghan special operations and coalition forces targeted a compound to disrupt an al-Qaida foreign-fighter network believed to be responsible for a March 2 suicide bombing that injured six civilians in Jalalabad City.

Based on a tip by a local resident, the combined forces targeted a compound where militants were known to stay. When the forces arrived at the compound, the occupants ignored orders to come out. The combined forces forcibly entered the compound and ensured all women and children were moved to safety. They then cleared the buildings and detained five suspects with no shots fired.

The forces inspected several vehicles on the compound and found one prepared for use as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, as in the March 2 bombing. The forces safely destroyed the vehicle and seized three AK-47 assault rifles, two other rifles, a pistol and two chest racks.

Seven women and nine children on the compound were protected.

In Khowst province, southeast of Kabul, Afghan special operations and coalition forces conducted operations to disable a suspected high-level commander of the Haqqani terrorist group with strong ties to Hezb-I-Islam Gulbuddin and Taliban militants, and to dismantle a bomb cell believed to be responsible for attacks against coalition forces.

A tip from a local resident enabled the forces to identify several compounds to search. Upon arriving at the targeted location, the combined forces cleared all buildings without incident, detained five suspects and seized an AK-47 assault rifle and chest rack.

Thirteen women and 38 children were protected during the operation.

In a separate operation yesterday, U.S. soldiers operating in a small village in southern Afghanistan seized five caches containing weapons, documents and medical supplies believed to help Taliban fighters in the area.

After inspecting for traps, two soldiers were lowered into a water system where they found munitions and feed bags full of supplies. As they cleared the water system, they found additional caches and enemy sleeping quarters.

Soldiers found the documents and medical supplies in a small, underground bunker and in another compound in the village.

(Compiled from a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release and a joint U.S. Forces Afghanistan-Afghan government news release.)

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