OEF Update, Dec. 18, 2009: NATO Assesses Claims of Civilian Casualties; Operational Update
Dispatches from the Front:
KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 18, 2009 -- ISAF is sending a team who will assess, with Afghan officials, reports of civilian casualties as a result of an ISAF operation in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar yesterday.
Initial operational reports indicate that men were emplacing an IED next to the road. After firing on the men from a helicopter, ISAF forces discovered civilians in a car adjacent to the IED site.
ISAF goes to great lengths to avoid, and deeply regrets, any harm to civilians.
In other operations, an Afghan-international security force detained a few suspected militants in Wardak province while pursuing a Taliban facilitator linked to several local militant leaders and commanders today.
The joint force searched compounds near the village of Chaghara in the Nerkh district where intelligence sources reported militant activity.
In another operation today, a joint security force detained a sought after Haqqani IED facilitator along with a few other militants in Khowst province after searching suspected compounds. The facilitator is heavily involved with distributing weapons to other militant elements and increasing the IED network in the area.
The joint force searched compounds near the village of Paro Kheyl in the Sabari district where intelligence sources reported the facilitator to be and detained the militants, one of whom identified himself as the Haqqani facilitator. In a fourth operation today, a joint security force detained a few suspected militants in Kandahar province while pursuing a Taliban commander responsible for manufacturing IEDs and several attacks in the area.
The joint security force searched a compound near the village of Adiran in the Arghandab district after intelligence sources reported militant activity. The joint force searched the compound and detained the suspected militants.
No shots were fired and no one was harmed during these operations.
In an operation yesterday, a joint security force engaged militants in Kandahar province while pursuing a Taliban commander. The joint force searched a location near the village of De Chenartu Tangay in Shah Wali Kot district after intelligence indicated militant activity. While the joint force was searching the area, a group of suspected militants was observed maneuvering around a nearby ridgeline.
As the force departed the area after completing their search, the suspected militants fired on them from the ridgeline. The force returned fire and left the area without further incident.
No civilians or members of the joint force were injured during the operation.
There were no ISAF fatalities in the last 24 hours in Afghanistan.
(Compiled from NATO International Security Assistance Force news releases.)