Monday, June 29, 2009

OEF Summary, June 29, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Nab Suspects, Seize Weapons, Drugs

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2009 -- Coalition and Afghan forces detained more than a dozen suspected militants and seized weapons and drugs in recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials said.

During two June 27 operations in the Musa Khel district of Khost province, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a key commander in one operation and searched a compound in another.

Coalition forces used precision air strikes in a remote area of the district, targeting a key Haqqani commander responsible for planning militant attacks against coalition forces, officials said.

Intelligence sources indicated his location in the mountainous district, about 30 miles northwest of the city of Khost. Coalition forces observed and identified suspected militants gathering at this location and called for precision air strikes to eliminate the target.

A coalition patrol conducted a battle damage assessment of the area and confirmed there were no non-combatant casualties, officials said. The patrol recovered multiple weapons consisting of small arms, heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition, grenades, radios and military load-bearing equipment. All of the items were destroyed at the site.

In a separate engagement in the same area, Afghan and coalition forces patrolled a compound near the village of Wech Paray. Intelligence sources indicated militant activity at the compound.

The forces searched the compound without incident and detained six men suspected of being part of the Haqqani terrorist network, military officials said.

No Afghan or coalition forces or non-combatants were injured in either operation.

In a June 26 operation, Afghan and coalition forces detained three suspected militants in a raid to disrupt the flow of foreign fighters and weapons into Nangarhar province.

In the province’s Achin district, a combined force assaulted a compound near the Pakistan border where intelligence sources reported a key Taliban commander was staying. This commander has conducted several car bomb attacks, officials said.

During the operation, suspected militants departed the compound and engaged the force. The force pursued the militants, detaining two. Another man at the compound was wounded after failing to respond to escalation of force measures. He was immediately transported by air for additional medical care.

The force secured the compound without further incident, detaining a total of three suspected militants.

In a June 25 operation, Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected Taliban militants in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province.

The force encountered a threat while clearing compounds where intelligence sources reported a known Taliban commander to be located. “After performing several escalation of force measures to no avail, the threat was eliminated,” military officials said in a statement.

The force completed the search without further incident, detained a handful of suspected militants, uncovered about 350 pounds of black tar heroin bundled in 20-pound bags and confiscated one AK-47 assault rifle. The black tar heroin was destroyed in place.

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

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