Monday, April 27, 2009

OEF Summary, April 27, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Kill 5 Militants, Detain 16

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2009 -- Afghan and coalition forces killed five militants and detained 16 suspects -- including a Taliban commander -- during recent operations in Afghanistan.

In Kandahar province’s Zharmi district, Afghan and coalition forces conducted a complex operation after receiving a tip on the location of Taliban operatives. The suspects were connected to bomb-making and other questionable activities, including operating a checkpoint in the district to collect money from local residents.

When the assault force attempted to search several compounds in the targeted village, they encountered armed militants who did not comply with instructions to leave their buildings. Two men were killed when forces entered the building and the men attempted to engage the force with small-arms fire. Similarly, on three separate compounds, three other men refused to comply with instructions given by Afghan and coalition forces and were killed in a subsequent engagement.

A search of the remaining compounds resulted in Afghan and coalition forces detaining 10 suspects.

In a separate operation northeast of Jalalabad in the Sarkani district of Konar province, Afghan forces, with a small element of coalition forces in support, searched a compound where suspected al-Qaida operatives were located. The forces detained two suspects associated with attacks against coalition forces in the province.

In operations yesterday, Afghan army commandos, assisted by coalition forces, captured a Taliban commander in Farah province’s Gulistan district. The detainee has been directly involved with numerous attacks on Afghan and coalition forces in the Gulistan Valley, as well as kidnapping weapons trafficking and facilitating movement of foreign fighters, officials said.

A search of the detainee’s compound uncovered a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with rounds, a machine gun with ammunition, a AK-47 assault rifle with ammunition, a mine and numerous bomb-making materials. The weapons and ammunition were destroyed in place.

In a separate operation yesterday, a coalition precision strike destroyed an anti-aircraft weapon system in Helmand province’s Nad Ali district. Coalition forces learned through villagers that insurgents in the area had obtained a ZPU-2 anti-aircraft gun and were staging it on the back of a pick-up truck for use against coalition aircraft. The ZPU-2 was hidden between two compounds in the Nad Ali district. After ensuring there were no noncombatants in the area, the coalition forces destroyed the weapon system with a precision strike.

In an overnight operation that began April 25, Afghan and coalition forces detained three men in eastern Afghanistan during efforts to capture a militant associated with the Haqqani terrorist network and the Baitullah Mahsud extremist group in Pakistan. In Khowst province, the combined force captured a terrorist known to facilitate suicide attacks against Afghan citizens and coalition forces in Khowst and Paktia provinces. As the targeted individual's vehicle approached an intersection, Afghan forces signaled the vehicle to stop and successfully called for the passengers to exit the vehicle. Without incident, all occupants complied.

The targeted individual and two men traveling with him were detained. Afghan National Police were called to assist a woman and child who were passengers in the car.

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

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