Afghan and Coalition forces continued operations against the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) during a raid on April 28 in northern Afghanistan. The raid successfully captured an IMU facilitator in the restive Burkah district of Baghlan province. According to the International Security Assistance Force, the captured facilitator:
is believed to be instrumental in procuring and distributing weapons and military equipment to IMU fighters in northern Afghanistan. He is also involved in assassination operations and attack planning, and has served as a bodyguard for senior IMU leadership.
ISAF told The Long War Journal that the detained IMU facilitator is an Afghan national of Uzbek descent and that there is evidence of foreign Uzbek involvement. However, ISAF would not identify where the arms and military equipment were coming from.
Also, ISAF reported yesterday that a raid on April 9 successfully killed an IMU commander in the same district. The commander was identified as Haji Hafiz, another Afghan national of Uzbek descent. He commanded a cell of insurgent fighters and engaged in IED operations and supplied weapons to other insurgent groups in the region. ISAF would not confirm if Hafiz was the target of a raid reported earlier that killed several insurgents and also occurred on April 9 in the same district. In that raid, ISAF said the second highest IMU leader was targeted and that he played a significant role in linking the Taliban and the IMU.
Based on The Long War Journal’s count of special operations raids targeting the IMU in Afghanistan, Burkah district has seen seven this year, the most of any district. Overall, there have been 21 raids this year against the terror group.
ISAF’s operational tempo against the terror group continues to run at the highest rate in the 12-year war. This time last year, there had been 15 operations targeting the IMU; in 2011 there were 18; and in 2010 there was only one. ISAF has not explained why the number of raids this year is so high, considering that the surge has ended and the IMU has been a target for Afghan and Coalition forces for years.
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