3 ISAF troops killed repelling Taliban assault in Kandahar


Map of Afghanistan’s provinces. Click map to view larger image.

Three ISAF soldiers and five civilian workers have been killed while repelling a Taliban terror assault on a police compound in the provincial capital of Kandahar.

The Taliban launched a coordinated, complex attack on an Afghan National Civil Order Police headquarters in Kandahar city yesterday in an attempt to overrun the compound, ISAF reported in a press release.

A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the outer wall of the ANCOP compound in an attempt to breach the perimeter so an assault team could enter.

The Taliban followed up the suicide attack with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms and machine gun fire. ISAF stated that Afghan police and Coalition troops “prevented insurgents from penetrating the compound perimeter while additional Afghan and ISAF forces reinforced the headquarters’ defenses and successfully repelled the attack.”

The nationality of the three soldiers and five civilian workers was not disclosed. It is unclear if those killed died during the suicide attack or in the subsequent fighting. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, four ISAF soldiers were killed in an IED attack, and another soldier was killed by Taliban small-arms fire in the south.

Yesterday’s Taliban assault in Kandahar is the group’s the latest attempt to storm a Coalition and Afghan base. Since the end of May, the Taliban have launched assaults against Jalalabad Airfield, Bagram Airbase, and Kandahar Airfield, as well as at several smaller outposts in the south and east. All of the attacks were successfully repelled by Coalition and Afghan forces.

The Taliban attacks are designed to break the will of the Coalition and demonstrate that Taliban forces can strike in the heart of Afghanistan as well as along the periphery. Earlier this year, the Taliban announced that they would begin operation Al Faath, or Victory, on May 10. The Taliban said they would target Coalition and Afghan forces, their bases, the Afghan government, security and logistics companies, and anyone supporting the “foreign forces.”

The Taliban have also have targeted tribal leaders, politicians, and other elites for assassination as part of its offensive. More than 20 people, including the district chief for Arghandab and the deputy mayor of Kandahar City, have been killed over the past several months.

The Taliban’s military commander in Kandahar is Mullah Muhammad Isa Akhund. In an interview with Al Sumud, a Taliban magazine, Akhund claimed that nearly all of Kandahar is under Taliban control.

“The situation in Kandahar is favorable to the mujahedeen, with the grace of God, and the mujahedeen are present in effective and influential ways in the city of Kandahar, the farther districts, the surrounding areas, and the crucial roads of the province,” Akhund told Al Sumud. “It is known to all that the mujahedeen control the rural areas of the country.”

Top ISAF leaders and US politicians have described Kandahar as the strategic center of the country, and said the province is key to defeating the Taliban.

Over the past five months, ISAF has targeted top Taliban leaders in Kandahar in a series of raids. Key Taliban commanders recently killed in the province include Haji Agha, the Taliban’s military commander for the Panjwai, Dand, and Zhari districts in Kandahar; Mullah Zergay, the Taliban’s leader for Kandahar City and the districts of Zhari and Arghandab; and Izzatullah, the Taliban’s military commander for Panjwai.


Three ISAF Service Members Killed As Afghan and International Forces Successfully Repel Insurgent Attack, ISAF press release

ISAF Casualties, ISAF press release

Taliban attack airbase in eastern Afghanistan, The Long War Journal

US troops repel complex Taliban assault on Bagram Airfield, The Long War Journal

Taliban attack Kandahar Airfield, The Long War Journal

Taliban: Next Afghan push coming Monday, Threat Matrix

Taliban assassinate key district governor in Kandahar, The Long War Journal

Deputy mayor of Kandahar assassinated, CNN

Senior Taliban commander killed in Kandahar, The Long War Journal

Coalition and Afghan forces kill Taliban commander in Kandahar, The Long War Journal

• Interview with Taliban Commander in Kandahar Mullah Muhammad Isa Akhund, Al Sumud via the Al Fallujah Islamic Forums

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • Cid says:

    Kandahar is more of a tactical center than a strategic center, and the United State’s strategy should be that of placing the Taliban in a situation where it must comply with the will of America.
    The strategic center in defeating the Taliban must begin in the madrassa, if that means arresting and killing imams teaching hatred and facilitating jihadists than so be it.
    All of this talk of subduing the Taliban without identifying the source, which is Islam and the madrassa which inculcate the message of hate into young men should be targeted.
    The U.S. military must use a Machiavellian approach to defeat this enemy.

  • Paul says:

    What do you think we should do in Afghan?

  • Chris says:

    AP is Reporting (3) U.S. Service Personal were Killed in this Attack.
    Is this accurate? No need to post this comment.

  • MILNEWS.ca says:

    Gee, the Taliban are claiming 40+ killed at their Voice of Jihad web page (also viewable at non-terrorist page here):

    “There is a report from Kandahar province that Mujahideen during the newly-launched operation al-Fath killed as many as 43 US-NATO and their local minions in a heroic battle in Kandahar city yesterday night (July 13). According to the details, five brave Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate equipped with heavy and small arms and explosive vests got into the headquarter of puppet elements in Kandahar city on Wednesday night, at about 9: 00 pm local time, and one of the heroic youths conducted a martyr bomb attack at the gate, having enter the enemy headquarter, the four Islam-loving youths of the group of five martyrdom-seeking Mujahideen opened fire on the combined US-NATO and elements of puppet ANA. As a result, after half an hour of the strong resistance the martyr youths succeeded in killing 43 local and foreign terrorists and wounding scores more besides damaging a number of their vehicles; however one of the Mujahids got martyred during the fighting, while the three others managed to leave unhurt.”


  • Zeissa says:

    Cid: I agree up to a point. Some of the mullahs certainly need to be arrested, however Machiavelli was never a good general and a questionable leader.
    Milnews: Lol


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