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More than 20 Insurgents Killed in Haqqani Clearing Operation
ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan 2010-08-CA-158 For Immediate Release Download PDF
KABUL, Afghanistan (Aug. 14) - An Afghan and coalition security force killed more than 20 armed insurgents, including Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters, during the latest deliberate clearing operation against Haqqani Network foreign fighters camps and safe havens in Dzadran district of Paktiya province.
The clearing operation focused on disrupting the Haqqani Network's freedom of movement in an area used to stage the network's attacks into Kabul and the Khost-Gardez pass. When the security force began the operation Wednesday, dozens of insurgents occupied entrenched fighting positions thoughout the mountainous area, preparing to engage the security force with machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons. An air weapons team suppressed the enemy resulting in more than 20 insurgents killed the first night. Combined security forces on the ground continued their operations, discovering and destroying multiple improvised explosive devices and IED components including trip wire and blasting caps. Additionally, they found two 82mm mortar systems with dozens of mortar rounds, a recoilless rifle, multiple grenades and a heavy machine gun. Coalition forces also conducted a precision air strike against an enemy ammunitions bunker, preventing it from future use.
"The Haqqani Network continually seeks to establish strongholds in the K-G Pass, disrupting the local government and facilitating the movement of foreign fighters, explosives and weapons into Afghanistan," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.
"This joint force operation is another successful blow against the Haqqani Network as coalition forces work to dismantle this terrorist organization and bring peace to the area."
This operation came in the wake of two equally successful operations in June, which resulted in more than 50 Haqqani Network fighters killed. In the first operation, Afghan and coalition forces killed 17 Haqqani fighters including a Haqqani commander, Fazil Subhan, during a fierce fire fight in Khost province June. 9. Subhan facilitated foreign fighters through the K-G Pass.
In the Jani Khel district of Paktiya province a week later, Afghan and coalition forces killed at least 35 insurgents including several key leaders for both the Haqqani and Taliban Networks. The security force killed Hamiddullah, a Haqqani commander for Sabari district in Khost province, who had direct ties to Haqqani senior leadership based in Pakistan and was reportedly responsible for an ambush of an Afghan National Army unit in March, which killed three ANA soldiers. In the two-day offensive operation on the largest foreign fighter camp in the area, assault forces also killed Qari Ismael, a Taliban leader for Jani Khel district and Maulawi Sadiq, a known facilitator for foreign fighters into Afghanistan. A senior leader for the ANA said the operation and the death of Sadiq, who was a high-value target for both ANA and coalition force was a major success.
"The Haqqani Network is a prevalent insurgent threat in Afghanistan right now, and Afghan and coalition forces are focused on smothering their influence and power," said Torres. "These successful clearing operations put the pressure on a network relying on foreign fighters to conduct their attacks against the Afghan people."