Airstrike in Afghanistan kills terrorist leaders
March 14, 2011
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2011 -- International Security Assistance Forces conducted a precision airstrike yesterday targeting two Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan terrorist organization leaders in the Dara Soof Payan district of Afghanistan's Samangan province yesterday, military officials reported.
Bilal Konduzi, a senior leader in the organization and liaison to the Taliban network in Kunduz, was involved in the facilitation and planning of suicide-bomber operations throughout northern Afghanistan and maintained contact with other senior leaders in the group to coordinate logistics and personnel, officials said.
He also trained suicide bombers to conduct attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
Shad Mohammad, the other leader targeted, ran the group's network in Samangan province. He was in direct communication with Burkah district-based terrorist leaders associated with planning attacks in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Security forces called in the precision airstrike after receiving intelligence reports that the terrorist leaders and other suspected insurgents were isolated in a remote mountainous region. The coalition forces ensured no civilians or compounds were in the immediate area, officials said. A follow-on force confirmed that Konduzi, Mohammad and four other insurgents were killed in the airstrike.
In other operations yesterday:
- Acting on intelligence reports, Afghan and coalition forces captured a Taliban facilitator and bombing cell leader while detaining another suspected insurgent during security operations in Ghazni province's Andar district. The Taliban facilitator was directly responsible for a Feb. 27 roadside-bomb attack against coalition forces, officials said.
- In Nangarhar province's Pachir wa Agam district, Afghan and coalition forces captured a Taliban facilitator and detained several other suspected insurgents. The facilitator planned and organized bomb attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, officials said. He also conducted illegal checkpoints throughout the district to assist in the smuggling of explosives and suicide-bomber vests from Pakistan for an intended attack against the Jalalabad airfield.
- Afghan and coalition forces in Khost province's Sabari district captured a Haqqani terrorist network weapons and bomb facilitator and detained several other suspected insurgents. The facilitator was in charge of financial, media and logistical support for the Haqqini organization in the district and coordinated transportation for associates to deliver mines, rocket-propelled grenades and bomb-making materials for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, officials said.
- Afghan and coalition forces acting on intelligence reports captured an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan military leader and detained several other suspected insurgents during an operation in Balkh province's Mazar-e Sharif district. The leader commanded a force of foreign fighters and was involved in the recruitment and training of suicide bombers, officials said, noting that coalition leaders spoke directly with Afghan government officials about an imminent suicide-bombing threat that could affect celebrations of Nawroz, widely known as the Persian New Year.
In March 9 operations:
- Afghan and coalition forces captured an insurgent leader and supplier of bomb components near Helmand province's Bande Timor district. Hashim Gul was detained after he was seen running into a compound by the Arghandab Rod River.
- Coalition forces on a dismounted patrol in Helmand's Nahr-e Sarah district killed an insurgent and detained another after being fired upon.
- In Helmand's Kajaki district, Afghan and coalition forces killed two insurgents, including a mid-level Taliban leader for northern Helmand who financed insurgent activities in the area.
Forces in Afghanistan also found several enemy drug and weapons caches in recent days:
- Coalition forces in Helmand's Sangin district today found eight pressure plates, an assault rifle, a rocket-propelled grenade, 200 7.62 mm rounds, an anti-tank weapon and four 20 mm rounds.
- A dismounted patrol found 104 25 mm rounds in several ammunition cans in Helmand's Marja district yesterday.
- Afghan and coalition forces acting on tips in Laghman province's Mehtar Lam district yesterday found 33 rocket-propelled grenades, 21 rocket-propelled grenade boosters, nine anti-personnel mines, two 105 mm rockets, five hand grenades and 150 12.7 mm rounds.
- In Kapisa province's Tagab district yesterday, an International Security Assistance Force patrol found three 82 mm mortar rounds, a rocket-propelled grenade, two 105 mm shells, nine rockets, 21 rocket fuses, three anti-personnel mines, 26 9 mm magazines, 11 assault-rifle magazines and 20 bags of solid rocket fuel.
- Afghan and ISAF forces in Helmand's Ormuz district yesterday found 616 pounds of wet opium, 88 pounds of concentrated fertilizer, narcotics paraphernalia and a pressure plate.
- An Afghan and coalition forces patrol found an 82 mm mortar round, five rifle magazines, 155 rounds of various caliber, a box of fuses and two 55-pounds bags of hashish March 9.
- In Kandahar province's Arghandab district March 9, an Afghan and coalition patrol found eight hand grenades, four grenade fuses and a full assault-rifle magazine.
- In Uruzgan province, a combined Afghan and coalition forces patrol found a weapons cache March 9, in Deh Rawud. The cache consisted of eight 82 mm mortar rounds, two walkie-talkies and various radio-controlled bomb components.
- Coalition forces in Kandahar's Spin Boldak district March 8, found a cache of explosives components and bomb making materials.