Yet another HIG commander captured in eastern Afghanistan

ISAF and Afghan forces captured another commander from the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, this time during a raid in the eastern province of Nangarhar on March 8. Note that the HIG commander works for both al Qaeda and the Taliban. [Also note: The original press release erroneously stated in the first sentence that it was a Haqqani Network leader. I received confirmation from ISAF that this was indeed a HIG commander, and I corrected in the text below.]

Afghan and coalition forces captured a [Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin] leader currently working for the Taliban and al Qaeda during security operations in Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province yesterday.

The leader commanded approximately 40-50 Taliban fighters within Nangarhar province and planned regular attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He led a group of Taliban fighters against two coalition force convoys last December and is connected to a March 7 suicide bombing in the city of Jalalabad which killed three Afghans.

Intelligence reports led the security force to the targeted compound where Afghan forces called for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully before conducting a search. The HIG leader was detained after initial questioning at the scene for involvement in insurgent activity.

ISAF and Afghan forces have now captured seven HIG commanders since special operations teams captured Farid, a senior HIG/Taliban media emir, on Feb. 16. Clearly some good intel is being extracted from Farid. During the prior year, only three HIG commanders were targeted or captured, according to ISAF reports.

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

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