Taliban cell leader and other suspected insurgents captured throughout Afghanistan

July 25th, 2010 - 3:57 pm ICT by BNO News  

KABUL (BNO NEWS) — Numerous suspected insurgents, including a Taliban cell leader and a Haggani sub-commander, were captured by Afghan and coalition forces on Saturday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

During an operation in Khost province, in the country’s east, an Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected insurgents, including a Haggani Network sub-commander.

The security force targeted a compound in the village of Towr Owbeh in Terayzai district in pursuit of the commander, who is believed to have been responsible for coordinating and conducting improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in the region.

According to ISAF, Afghan forces first used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit the compound. After questioning the residents, the security force detained the commander and another suspected insurgent for further questioning.

ISAF said multiple rifles and grenades were found at the scene.

“Coalition forces are significantly reducing civilian casualties while the insurgents are going in the opposite direction,” said Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. “The insurgents are turning back the clock several centuries with their indiscriminate IED attacks which kill and wound Afghan civilians on a regular basis.”

In another operation, in the country’s Kandahar province, an Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents, including a Taliban IED cell leader who was operating in the Sanjeray area.

ISAF said the cell leader was also responsible for coordinating supply and logistical issues with Pakistan-based facilitators.

Additionally on Friday, ISAF said an Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents in Zabul province while in pursuit of a Taliban commander, who is said to coordinate attacks against Afghan civilians, Afghan and coalition forces. He is also believed to have orchestrated kidnappings of Afghan government officials, Afghan National Security Forces and civilians in the Qalat district.

The security force targeted a compound outside Mollayan in Qalat district in pursuit of the commander, and arrested several suspected insurgents for further questioning. ISAF said IED materials were found at the scene and were later destroyed.

“We are actively pursuing the criminals who are deliberately targeting and killing innocent civilians, which is what the Taliban are doing as confirmed in Mullah Omar’s most recent guidance to his fighters,” Torres said.

According to ISAF, Omar - who is the spiritual leader of the Taliban - recently ordered his fighters to kill Afghans who are supporting or working for coalition forces or the Afghan government.

Meanwhile, also on Friday, two suspected insurgents were detained in Logar province during two separate offensive clearing operations by Afghan and coalition security forces.

ISAF said the first security force targeted a series of compounds in the village of Mollakay in Charkh district. After Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to peacefully exit each compound, one suspected insurgent was detained.

A second security force targeted several tents and buildings in a remote area in Kharwar district. Again, one suspected insurgent was arrested.

“These clearing operations are bearing fruit and will continue,” Torres added.

The operations and arrests come as coalition casualties have been rising sharply this year, with more than 100 troops being killed in June alone.

On Saturday, five American service members were killed in two separate IED attacks in southern Afghanistan. And in another incident, two American service members were confirmed to be missing after they left their compound in Kabul City on Friday afternoon.

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