Special operations forces raid ‘Taliban safe haven’ in Afghan north

A Coalition and Afghan special operations team raided a “Taliban safe haven” in the Afghan north, killing and capturing multiple Taliban fighters during yesterday’s operation.

The combined special operations team struck at what the International Security Assistance Force described as “a Taliban safe haven known for improvised explosive device activity and weapons cache sites” near the village of Khwaja Kinti in the district of Qaisar in the northern province of Faryab.

“Several” Taliban fighters were killed and “numerous” fighters were captured after the special operations team came under fire during the operation. No Afghan or Coalition troops were killed or wounded during the firefight. A large weapons cache was found in a search of the area.

In s separate operation today in Faryab, special operations forces killed the Afghan policeman who shot and killed two Coalition soldiers in an attack at a checkpoint on April 4. Two other “insurgents” were captured during the raid in Maimanah district.

ISAF has begun to identify the location of safe havens and training camps in the north for the Taliban and the allied Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Both terror groups maintain a strong presence in the northern Afghan provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Faryab, Jawzjan, Kunduz, Samangan, Sar-i-Pul, and Takhar, and have established suicide training camps in the north over the past several years. ISAF has identified the presence of camps in Sar-i-Pul and Samangan province. On March 22, the special operations team captured an IMU commander who ran camps in Samangan.

ISAF has also described the district of Burkah in Baghlan province as “a Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan safe haven.” During the month of March, ISAF targeted IMU commanders in Burkah six times.

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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