ISAF targets IMU leader in Kunduz
In a raid today in Kunduz province, ISAF targeted yet another leader of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. From the ISAF press release:
In Imam Sahib district, Kunduz province, an Afghan-led and coalition supported security force conducted an operation to detain an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader today. The leader plans and directs attacks against senior Afghan government officials, Afghan National Security Forces and coalition troops. Several insurgents were detained as a result of the operation.
The IMU continues to maintain a close working relationship with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Haqqani Network. The Pakistan-based terror group has integrated into the Taliban's shadow government in the north, and conducts operations with the Haqqani Network in the east. In addition, the IMU has been involved in several high-profile suicide attacks and assassinations in Kabul and in the north.
ISAF has stepped up its targeting of the IMU's leadership cadre over the past several months. Coalition and Afghan commandos have targeted top IMU leaders and associates in 16 raids in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Faryab, Kunduz, Takhar, Logar, and Wardak provinces since Jan. 29. Nine of those raids took place in April and four occurred in March. In the course of those raids, special operations forces have killed the IMU's past two commanders for Afghanistan; the raids have also resulted in the capture of two senior facilitators and the death of another.
For more information on the IMU, see LWJ reports, IMU cleric urges Pakistanis to continue sheltering jihadis in Waziristan, and ISAF captures IMU facilitator in Wardak province.