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American Forces Press Service

Combined Force Arrests Taliban Leader in Helmand Province

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2012 – A combined Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province today, military officials reported.

The leader acted as a go-between for senior Taliban leadership in the province, communicating orders for attacks to subordinate Taliban fighters in the area, officials said. He also oversaw the placement and activation of improvised explosive devices in the area so insurgents were able to operate safely, they added.

The security force also detained a suspected insurgent and seized more than $3,400 in cash during the operation.

In other operations today:

-- A combined force detained numerous suspected insurgents in Kandahar province’s Kandahar district while searching for a Taliban leader responsible for directing roadside bomb placement in the Panjwai and Zharay districts.

-- In Logar province’s Mohammad Aghah district, a combined force detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a Haqqani network arms supplier who provides weapons, explosives and bomb components to Haqqani fighters throughout the province.

Meanwhile, Afghan and coalition forces confirmed today that one of several insurgents killed in an Aug. 17 airstrike in Kunar province’s Watahpur district was Taliban leader Yasir, who had ties to al-Qaida. Yasir organized and conducted attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and was involved in an Aug. 8 suicide attack in Asadabad district, which killed three U.S. soldiers and a U.S. civilian.

Yesterday, Afghan and coalition officials confirmed that a senior Taliban leader, Maulawi Nur Mohammad, and his deputy, Atiqullah, were among dozens of heavily armed insurgents killed in an Aug. 18 airstrike in a remote area of Kunar province’s Chapah Darah district.

In operations yesterday:

-- A combined force in Laghman province’s Alisheng district searching for a Taliban leader who acquires weapons and ammunition for insurgents and facilitates attacks against Afghan and coalition forces came under attack. The force engaged the insurgents, killing three attackers, and detained three suspected insurgents.

-- A combined force in Khost province’s Khost district detained several suspected insurgents during a search for a Haqqani network leader who plans and coordinates attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

In Aug. 18 operations:

-- A combined force in Helmand province’s Nad-e Ali district found 220 pounds of opium, $1,000 in cash and communications equipment.

-- In Kandahar’s Kandahar district, a combined force arrested a Taliban weapons dealer and two other insurgents. The weapons facilitator was trying to deliver a roadside bomb to insurgents when he was arrested.

-- A combined force detained several suspected insurgents in Kandahar’s Kandahar district while searching for a Taliban weapons dealer.

-- In Helmand’s Now Zad district, security combined force found and destroyed 4,850 pounds of wet opium, 38 IEDs and 55 pounds of explosives.

-- A combined force arrested several suspected insurgents and killed an insurgent after he threatened to attack them during an operation to arrest Haqqani network-affiliated insurgent leaders in Logar province’s Baraki Barak district. The security force also found heavy weapons, ammunition, bomb components and homemade explosives.

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