Coalition and Afghan forces killed and captured two senior Taliban commanders during raids over the past two days in the eastern province of Logar.
Yesterday, the combined security forces killed a top Taliban leader and 15 fighters in Logar during a raid in the village of Qal’eh-ye Jom-eh in Pul-e Alam district. “Intelligence sources observed a large gathering of Taliban insurgents … preparing to conduct an attack against coalition forces,” the International Security Assistance Forces stated in a press release.
Among those killed was Qari Muir, who had previously served as the deputy shadow governor, the military commander, and the intelligence chief for Logar province, ISAF stated. ISAF is investigating the possibility that two other senior Taliban leaders may have been killed in the strike.
Muir was also associated with the Kabul Attack Network, the Taliban group assigned to carry out suicide bombings, terror assaults, and other strikes in and around the Afghan capital. The Kabul Attack Network is led by Dawood (or Daud) and Taj Mir Jawad, military and intelligence officials told The Long War Journal. Dawood is the Taliban’s shadow governor for Kabul, while Taj Mir Jawad is a top commander in the Haqqani Network. In the US military files recently released by Wikileaks, Taj Mir Jawad is identified as a top Haqqani Network leader.
“The Haqqani Network is deeply entrenched in the Kabul Attack Network specifically with the facilitation of weapons and fighters into the area south of Kabul in Logar and Wardak provinces,” an ISAF public affairs official told The Long War Journal.
Top Afghan intelligence officials have linked the Kabul Attack Network to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate as well.
During a separate raid yesterday, a combined Afghan and Coalition force captured the deputy district commander for Pul-e ‘Alam and two Taliban fighters during a raid in the village of Bala Qal’eh ye Vazir. “The network has direct ties to the Kabul Attack Network,” ISAF stated.
“This network has enjoyed a relative safe haven in eastern Afghanistan,” said Colonel Rafael Torres, the director of ISAF’s Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center. “We’ve had significant success against this network over the last month and these operations will continue until we eliminate the Taliban’s capability to threaten the people of Afghanistan.”
Logar province is a known haven for al Qaeda and allied terror groups, including the Haqqani Network. The presence of al Qaeda cells has been detected in the district of Pul-e ‘Alam; or one of Logar’s five districts, according to an investigation by The Long War Journal. In May 2009, Afghan and Coalition forces targeted a Haqqani Network cell in Pul-e ‘Alam that facilitated suicide bombers.
• Security force targets Taliban commander in Logar, ISAF press release
• Pul-e ‘Alam Taliban network commander captured, ISAF press release
• 2 American troops missing in Kabul as US targets Kabul Attack Network, The Long War Journal
• US recovers body of missing sailor in Afghanistan, The Long War Journal
• Suicide assault team targets civilian guesthouse in Kabul, The Long War Journal
• Afghan, coalition forces kill four militants, detain five in Logar; detain five in Khost, ISAF press release
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Great news, you might want to clean up the formatting and change “separated” to separate.
This activity seems much closer to Kabul than most. Either the enemy is making progress towards Kabul or they are being pushed out of their former strongholds of Helmand and Kandahar.
Here’s hoping it is the latter.
Score one for the good guys!