OEF Update, Nov. 20, 2009: Forces Kill, Detain Suspected Militants in 3 Provinces; US Casualties
Dispatches from the Front:
KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2009 -- At approximately 9 a.m. today, an IED detonated in downtown Farah in western Afghanistan. Initial reports indicate seven Afghans were killed and more than 35 were injured. No ISAF service members were in the area at the time.
"This was a malicious attack that killed and injured innocent Afghans. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families of those killed and sympathies for those injured this morning," said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, IJC spokesperson. "Yesterday's presidential inauguration was a day of moving forward, and today's bombing shows the insurgents' unwillingness to allow Afghan citizens to move toward a peaceful, stable and prosperous future. Insurgents continue to use indiscriminate violence to try to disrupt the rebuilding of Afghanistan and to sow fear in Afghan communities. ISAF remains steadfast in our support for the Government and the citizens of Afghanistan."
Joint Force Complete Operations in Takhar, Khowst and Wardak Provinces An Afghan-international security force killed one enemy militant in Takhar province today while pursuing an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator responsible for financing militant activities and transporting foreign fighters into the region.
The joint security force searched a compound in the rural Bangi district east of Kunduz City. During the search, the enemy militant displayed hostile intent and was killed. The search was completed without further incident.
There has been an increased presence of Uzbek fighters in northern Afghanistan and a number of foreign fighters within the Taliban ranks who are from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Through partnering, Afghan and international security forces are working to eliminate this threat within the country.
In a separate operation today, an Afghan and international security force detained several suspected militants in Khowst province while pursuing a reputed Haqqani commander suspected of having links to several local senior Haqqani leaders.
A compound near the town of Zambar in the Sabari district was searched without incident. The joint force recovered several AK-47s and bolt-action rifles, and detained three suspected militants.
Also today, a suspected militant in Wardak province was detained by Afghan-international security forces during a search of several compounds known to be used by a Taliban facilitator reportedly responsible for numerous small arms and IED attacks in the area.
The joint force searched the compounds near the village of Darmandyan in Nerkh district without incident and detained one suspected militant.
No civilians were harmed in any of today's operations.
Two ISAF servicemembers from the United States died yesterday after their patrol was struck by an IED in southern Afghanistan.
(Compiled from NATO International Security Assistance Force news releases.)