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ANSF Uniforms, Equipment Confiscated; No Longer Legal to Sell at Bazaars

International Security Assistance Force
Story by U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jordan Jones
ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs

KABUL, Afghanistan (April 25, 2011)
– More than 10,000 Afghan uniforms and pieces of equipment have been confiscated from Afghan shop owners in a new operation intended to curtail the availability of uniforms to insurgents.

The actions to confiscate uniforms began six days ago after the Afghan Ministry of Defense was the target of an insurgent dressed in an ANSF uniform. Three people were killed in the attack and six injured. The insurgent, wearing a suicide vest, was unable to detonate his vest before being killed.

During an operational update this morning, German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, spokesman, International Security Assistance Force, said that uniforms have been confiscated from shop keepers by an MOI country-wide operation.

“During this operation, more than 10,000 uniforms and equipment were seized. ISAF supports these efforts,” said Blotz.

Blotz went on to detail a new milestone for the Afghan Local Police.

 “The Ministry of Interior’s legitimate protectors of the local populace – the Afghan Local Police – celebrated another milestone yesterday as the first district to receive their official uniforms,” he said.

According to Blotz, there are currently 37 operational and 40 emerging ALP sites throughout Afghanistan.

While the number of suicide attacks has decreased since 2008, insurgents have stepped up their actions to attack soft and high-profile targets. Soft targets are people who have little to no training, equipment or situational awareness to recognize and thwart hostile activities.

“More than 30 suicide attacks have been directed at soft targets since the beginning of the year. These attacks are aimed at instilling fear among innocent Afghans. Insurgents attempt to promote a perception of instability…causing a large number of civilian casualties,” Blotz said.

Even as insurgents continue their war to instill fear, Afghan and coalition forces have been continuing their campaign to disrupt and defeat insurgent networks.

“Four hundred and fifty-three insurgent leaders have been captured or killed between January 13th and April 15th of this year,” said Blotz. “More than 2,000 mid- or low- level insurgents have also been captured and 500 killed.”