Release Number 20092001-01
January 20, 2009
KABUL, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed twenty-two armed militants, including two Taliban commanders, and detained eleven during multiple operations targeting the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist networks in eastern and southern Afghanistan, Monday.
In Kapisa, Coalition forces killed Taliban commander Mullah Patang and 18 other militants during an operation to disrupt the Taliban’s terrorist network in the Tagab Valley, located approximately 50 km north of Kabul City. Mullah Patang was in direct contact with and carried out orders from senior Taliban leaders in Afghanistan and abroad. Patang was responsible for numerous roadside bomb and direct attacks against innocent civilians, GIRoA officials and Coalition forces throughout the region.
As Coalition forces approached the targeted compounds, multiple groups of armed militants exited from several buildings and attempted to maneuver on and engage the force with small-arms fire. Coalition forces returned small-arms fires and used close-air precision munitions to prevent the armed militants’ movement against the force. After neutralizing the threat, Coalition forces continued the operation, searching the targeted buildings. The operation yielded more than 20 AK-47s, multiple hand grenades and bandoliers of full magazines. The items were destroyed to prevent their future use; eight suspected militants were also detained as a result of the operation.
In Kandahar, Coalition forces killed a second Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Rahim Akund, and one additional armed militant while targeting the Taliban’s roadside bombing network. The operation in Panjawi District, approximately 25 km southeast of Kandahar City, eliminated the Taliban commander assessed to plan, coordinate and facilitate roadside bombings throughout the province.
Despite Coalition forces’ efforts to peacefully empty the compound, the militants resisted and were ultimately killed when Coalition forces were forced to use hand grenades in an escalation of force. A search of the compound revealed a 105mm artillery round that had the explosives removed presumably to construct roadside bombs.
In Khost, ANA and Coalition forces netted the targeted Haqqani militant during a successful combined operation. The detained militant is believed to be in direct contact with senior Haqqani leaders outside of Afghanistan, coordinating activities aimed at destabilizing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and harming innocent civilians and Coalition forces.
In Zabul province, Coalition forces continued to apply pressure to the Taliban’s roadside bombing network, killing one armed militant and detaining two suspected militants. The operation in Jaldak District, approximately 65 km northeast of Kandahar, targeted a Taliban militant believed to carry out roadside bombings and attacks against Coalition forces along Highway One. The targeted militant is also believed to be in contact with multiple Taliban commanders in the region.
During the operation, one armed militant attempted to engage the force. Coalition forces returned fire, and killed him.