OEF Update, May 4, 2009: Troops Successfully Target Senior Insurgent in Helmand
Dispatches from the Front:
KABUL, Afghanistan, May 4, 2009 -- Afghan national security forces supported by International Security Assistance Force troops have killed a prominent insurgent near Now Zad, Helmand province. Mullah Salam Noorzai was killed along with an associate in the early hours of April 28. Another suspected insurgent was taken into custody for questioning.
A senior insurgent figure in northern and central Helmand, Mullah Salam Noorzai was a former IV Corps commander in Herat province during the Taliban regime and was instrumental in the reconstitution of the insurgent effort following the regime's demise. His influence extended throughout northern and central Helmand. Mullah Salam Noorzai had strong links to senior insurgent leadership figures who direct the insurgency from the safety of Pakistan.
The operation took place in an isolated compound north of Now Zad, Helmand province. Several weapons, including rocket propelled grenades, were destroyed at the scene.
The safety of the women and children who were present in the target compound was the highest priority for ANSF and ISAF troops; no women or children were harmed during the operation.
"The death of Mullah Salam Noorzai, the latest in a series of prominent senior insurgents and IED-facilitators, signals another serious blow to the insurgency," said Lieutenant Colonel Nick Richardson, Task Force Helmand. "The quick reaction and professionalism of ANSF and ISAF troops has also stopped the weapons and IED components being used to cause death or serious injury. These devices are used indiscriminately and often kill and maim local people."
(Report from a U.S. Defense Department news release.)
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