BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Army News Service, Feb. 13, 2008) - Afghan National Army Commandos from the 203rd Kandak, assisted by Coalition forces, captured a key insurgent facilitator in Khowst Province Feb. 9.
Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense announced that ANA forces captured a known Taliban commander, Nasimulla, during a combined operation in the Dand Faqiran area of Yaqubi District.
Nasimulla is suspected of being a key Taliban facilitator responsible for several attacks against Afghan National Security Forces using improvised explosive devices. He is also suspected of commanding an IED emplacement cell based in the Sabari District and travels throughout Khowst and Paktika Provinces to conduct attacks against Afghanistan forces and civilians.
"Taliban insurgents have changed their tactics away from direct attacks against Afghan forces," explained Army Capt. Vanessa R. Bowman, a Coalition spokesperson. "Now, insurgents are turning to IED attacks; however, this places the civilian population directly in danger, especially when they place explosives along highly traveled roadways."
"Capturing Nasimulla will help reduce IED attacks in Khowst and Paktika making the area safer for all residents," Bowman said.
Afghan National Security Forces and the Coalition are making a concerted effort to disrupt insurgent activity throughout the country, Bowman said.
As part of that effort, Afghan National Police in Shkin arrested three men Feb. 6 suspected of facilitating IED operations near the Pakistan border in the Bermel District of Paktika Province. Earlier that day, a local villager alerted the ANP officers of suspicious materials near a bridge in Kakkhel. Upon investigation, the officers found three IEDs consisting of a 107 mm rocket and an anti-tank mine. The munitions were covered by dirt and placed in the roadway near a family home.
"ANSF, especially the Commandos, performed flawlessly during this operation," explained Bowman. "They successfully integrated all aspects of their military training, including complex night airborne assault operations. From planning, to execution, to their professional actions on the objective, the Commandos of the 203rd Kandak are working to secure this area of eastern Afghanistan and making the area safe for villagers."
"This operation shows that the ANSF are keeping the pressure on insurgents throughout the winter," Bowman added. "Detaining Nasimulla, and taking a large cache of weapons, ammunition and IED-making material, will help citizens of the area feel safer."