Sunday, March 4, 2012

Boko Haram plans 'to eradicate Christians' from areas in Nigeria

Boko Haram, the radical Islamist terror group that has been linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb as well as Shabaab, al Qaeda's affiliate in East Africa, is intent on turning their insurgency in the north of Nigeria into a full fledged war between Christans and Muslims. The terror group has bombed numerous churches in the country in the past two years, including a suicide attack at a church in Jos at the end of February. Leadership, a Nigerian news outlet, interviewed a Boko Haram spokesman who said that the group will "eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country" while fighting to establish "a proper Islamic state."
A Nigerian spokesman for the Islamic militant group Boko Haram told on Sunday that they are planning a "war" on Christians in the next few weeks. According to the spokesman, speaking via telephone from northern Nigeria, the group "will launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country."
Boko Haram have taken responsibility for a number of bomb attacks on Christian churches across the country since a Christmas Day bombing left dozens of people killed.
The government has promised to crackdown on the group and has deployed military units across the country in an attempt to curtail the Islamic group's activities, arresting and killing a number of members in recent weeks.
But the spokesman said the government "cannot be prepared for what is to come."
He said, without giving specific details, "we will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won't be able to stay."
On Friday, the group reportedly killed three of its own members late on Friday in the northeastern state of Maiduguri, police and military sources confirmed.
"This was part of our planning and it is unfortunate," said the spokesman.

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Mar.04., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered cache of explosive materials during an operation in Behsud district, Nangarhar province, yesterday.

The cache consisted of approximately 19,842 pounds (9,000 kilograms) explosive making compounds.

Security forces secured and confiscated all materials for destruction at a later date.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


One insurgent was killed and two suspects were detained yesterday in Kunduz district, Kunduz province during a combined operation conducted by Afghan Provincial Response Company and coalition forces. Security forces confiscated multiple firearms and ammunition.


A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered an improvised explosive device cache during an operation in Musa Qal’ah district, Helmand province, Friday. The cache consisted of approximately 500 feet of detonation cord, 60 pre-built pressure plates and two chest rigs. Security forces confiscated all IED components to be destroyed at a later date.


A combined Afghan led and a coalition supported security force discovered a drug cache during an operation in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Friday. The cache consisted of approximately 29 pounds (13 kiligrams) of opium, approximately 44 pounds (20 kiligrams) of hashish and approximately 220 pounds (100 kiligrams) marijuana seeds. The security force destroyed a portion of the drugs on site and confiscated the remainder for destruction at a later date.

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Local Taliban leader killed in Afghan Kunduz province

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, March 4 (Xinhua) -- A local Taliban leader was killed Sunday during a joint Afghan forces and NATO-led coalition troops operation in northern Afghan province of Kunduz, a police source said.

"Based on intelligence, a joint unit of special operation force of Afghan army and international forces killed a local Taliban leader namely Seyd Gul during an operation in surrounding area of provincial capital Kunduz city early this morning," a provincial police spokesman Seyd Sarwar Houssaini told Xinhua.

He said that the deceased Taliban leader was responsible for several attacks on security forces and directed the emplacement of roadside bombs and provided weapons and funds to the insurgents across in the province.

The joint forces also found and seized a handful of weapons during the raid, he said.

Taliban militants have yet to confirm the death of their local leader in Kunduz province some 250 km north of capital city of Kabul.
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40 soldiers held hostage by al-Qaida in southern Yemen

ADEN, Yemen, March 4 (Xinhua) -- A total of 40 soldiers of the Yemeni army forces were held hostage by al-Qaida militants after it overran an army post in the war-torn southern province of Abyan on Sunday, a military official said.

After fierce fighting with the government troops, al-Qaida militants managed to take control of an army post of the 115th Armored Army Brigade positioned in the al-Kud area, south of Abyan 's provincial capital Zinjibar, capturing 40 soldiers along with their heavy weapons, tanks and armored vehicles, the local military official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In the fighting west and around the entrances of Zinjibar, at least 15 al-Qaida militants were killed and dozens of others injured, the official said.

"Two local al-Qaida leaders were killed," he added.

An army soldier said "up to 40 soldiers went missing after the battle... we lost communications with them."

Yemen's military sent tanks and other reinforcement from the neighboring port city of Aden to Abyan, trying to regain the army post seized by al-Qaida operatives, witnesses told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, an army officer involved in the battles said anonymously that hours after many soldiers were taken captive by the terrorists, warplanes bombed al-Qaida militants, who quickly fled the army post.

"Army troops managed to regain control of the outpost," he said, adding that "al-Qaida militants retreated from the whole region for fear of intensified air raids."

A local medic at the Bashuib military hospital in Aden told Xinhua that "more than 36 army soldiers wounded in the fighting with al-Qaida were brought for treatment this afternoon."

Earlier in the day, twin suicide bombing attacks targeted two military bases of the Yemeni army forces in the suburbs of Zinjibar, killing at least eight soldiers and injuring dozens of others, an army official told Xinhua.

Taking advantage of the one-year-long anti-government protests, resurgent AQAP, known locally as Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), has taken control of several cities across the restive southern provinces.

The Yemeni government forces have been battling AQAP militants in the south, leaving hundreds of people killed and thousands displaced.

AQAP, entrenching itself mainly in Yemen's southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, is on the terrorist list of the United States.

Newly-elected Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has vowed to strengthen the security and intelligence cooperation with the United States in combating AQAP, which has threatened the daily oil shipping routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
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3 killed, 7 wounded in Iraq's violence

BAGHDAD, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Three people were killed and seven others injured in separate gunfire and bomb attacks in central and northern Iraq, the police said on Sunday.

In Baghdad, an official of the Iraqi Ministry of National Security was gunned down in a drive-by shooting by armed men using silenced weapons when he was driving on a high way in Baghdad's western district of al-Adil, an interior ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Also in western Baghdad, two civilians were wounded when a sticky bomb attached to their car exploded in Khadraa district, the source said.

In northern Iraq, gunman threw a hand grenade on civilians in a commercial street in central Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, killing a woman and wounding four people, a local police source said.

In Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, an employee working for the provincial council was injured when a sticky bomb attached to his car detonated in central Salahudin's capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.

In a separate incident, gunmen using silenced weapons shot dead a brother of a police officer late on Saturday night in front of his house in a village in south Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, the source added.

Iraqi cities have been plagued by several attacks, including suicide bombings, since the U.S. troops pulled out of the country late last year.
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Eastern Kunar provincial governor escape militants attack

Provincial governor for eastern Kunar province Syed Fazlullah Wahidi escaped militants attack on Sunday afternoon. The incident took place at Noor Gul district on Jalalabad and Kunar highway.

Syed Fazlullah Wahidi said, a number of unknown gunmen opened fire him while he was on his way towards Jalalabad city on Sunday afternoon.

He also added, there were no casualties as a result of the incident and the assailant militants managed to flee the area.

According to Mr. Wahidi, several bullets hit the vehicle of his bodyguards but his bodyguards and driver did not suffer any casualties.

No group including the Taliban militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

This is the first assassination plot against Kunar governor Fazlullah Wahidi despite several insurgents surrendered to Afghan government and joined peace process in this province.

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Afghan soldiers injured at southern Kandahar province

Afghan Defense Ministry following a press release on Sunday announced at least 5 Afghan National Army soldiers were injured while performing their duties in southern Kandahar province

The source further added, Afghan National Army soldiers also seized some weapons and ammunnitions following military operations at Arghandab and Panjwai districts in this province.

In the meantime provincial intelligence officials in southern Helmand proivnce said Afghan security forces curbed a missile attack on a Provincial Reconstruction Team in this province.

An Afghan Intelligence official speaking on the condition of anonymity said, Afghan intelligence forces discovered and seized a vehicle at Bolan area in Lashkargah city of southern Helmand province.

The source further added, militants were looking to carry out a suicide bomb blast using the vehicle.

According to provincial intelligence officials, the vehicle was prepared by Mullah Mustafa a Taliban commander and wanted to carry out suicide bomb blast at Laskargah city.

The officials also said, Afghan intelligence forces managed to discover and seized weapons and ammunitions in separate operations at Marjah, Laskargah and Nad-e-Ali districts of southern Helmand province.

Afghan security forces have doubled their military operations to crackdown militants across the country.

In the meantime militants activities have been rampant at Lashkargah city and its neighboring regions during the past few months.

In the latest of insurgents attacks, a NATO convoy was targeted by a suicide bomber at Lashkargah city which injured at least 7 Afghan civilians.

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Yemen fighting kills 30 troops, 14 militants

Yemen division 2011-10-23
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SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Intense clashes erupted on Sunday between Yemeni soldiers and al-Qaida fighters in the southern province of Abyan, killing at least 30 government troops and 14 of the militants, military officials said.

The officials said the fighting was taking place west of Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar, held by militants since May.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The violence in Abyan highlights the challenges facing Yemen after a year of political turmoil that has allowed al-Qaida to seize several towns in the lawless south and withstand repeated army offensives to retake them.

A Defense Ministry statement said the fighting began when militants detonated "booby trapped vehicles" at an army base in the region of Koud near Zinjibar. The statement suggested that the base was overrun by the militants before army forces regrouped and took it back.

It said there were casualties on both sides but gave no figures.

Newly inaugurated President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi meanwhile said in a televised speech that fighting al-Qaida in Yemen and restoring security in the impoverished Arab nation were among his top priorities.

Last month, President Hadi succeeded longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who during his more than 30 years in power tolerated radical Islamic groups as part of a delicate balancing act that kept at bay threats to his authority in the fractured nation.

There has been a surge in attacks blamed on al-Qaida after Hadi's inauguration.

from AP
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Several militants killed and detained in Afghan operations

Officials in the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Afghanistan on Sunday announced, several insurgents were killed and detained during military operations across the country.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Afghanistan, at least 2 militants were killed and 12 others were detained during joint military operations by Afghan and coalition security forces.

The statement furhter added, the operations were conducted at Nangarhar, Kandahar, Baghlan and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan.

Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the reports.

In the meantime Afghan Army officials at 205 Attal commandment said anti-government armed militant groups are struggling for the infiltration of their fighters among the Afghan security forces.

Gen. Abdul Hamid commander of the Afghan National Army for 205 Attal commandment quoted by Reuters News Agency said, adequate intelligence information should be obtained while the recruitment the Afghan security forces.

This comes as an Afghan security officer recently shot dead two US military advisers inside the Afghan Interior Ministry complex.

The incident was followed by a similar one in southern Kandahar province after an Afghan National Army soldier shot dead two US service members.

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Congo arms depot blast kills some 200

BRAZZAVILLE: Around 200 people were killed on Sunday when an arms dump exploded in Brazzaville, capital of the Congo Republic, a senior official in the presidency said, citing hospital sources.

A plume of smoke can be seen over Brazzaville from across the Congo River in Kinshasa, capital of neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. -AFP Photo
Hundreds more were injured by the blasts which rocked the riverside capital of the oil-producing nation early in the day, flattening houses near the scene and sending a plume of smoke high above the city.

“According to sources at the central hospital we’re talking of around 200 dead and many injured,” Betu Bangana, head of protocol in the president’s office in Brazzaville, told Reuters by telephone.

“Some people are still (trapped) in their houses… They’re saying the entire neighbourhood of Mpila has been destroyed.”

Defence Minister Charles Zacharie Bowao dismissed any talk of a coup attempt or mutiny, and told state radio that the explosions had been caused by a fire in the arms depot in the Regiment Blinde base in the riverside Mpila neighbourhood.

Panic also spread to Kinshasa, across the Congo River which separates the former French colony from the larger Democratic Republic of Congo, where windows were shattered by the force of the blasts around 700 metres (770 yards) away. Both governments called for calm.

A Reuters witness in Brazzaville said residents fled the blast area, which is near a heavily populated neighbourhood and was blocked off by the security forces as a military helicopter flew overhead. Fleeing residents said houses in the area had been flattened.
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R.I.P. - Staff Sgt. Jordan L. Bear, Pfc. Payton A. Jones

DOD Identifies Army Casualties

            The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

             They died Mar. 1, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small arms fire during an attack on their base.

They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

             Killed were:

               Staff Sgt. Jordan L. Bear, 25, of Denver, Colo., and

               Pfc. Payton A. Jones, 19, of Marble Falls, Texas.
For more information media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs at 910-423-0661.

Jordan Logan Bear, 25, was shot by gunmen at a base Thursday.
(Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)


Bear and Jones were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

“Staff Sgt. Bear set the example for all the squad leaders in his platoon,” said Capt. Cecil Wolberton, commander of the soldiers’ company. “He was a phenomenal leader and beloved by the men he led.”

Wolberton said he remembers Jones’ first day in the unit and described him as “an outstanding soldier.”

“Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege of watching him develop as a paratrooper,” the captain said.

Jones, who joined the Army in July 2010 and was on his first deployment, is survived by his mother and his father. Bear, who has been in the Army since September 2004 and was on his third deployment to Afghanistan, is survived by his wife, his 4-year-old daughter and his 2-month-old son.

His mother, Cathleen Bear, told the Denver Post that Army officials say he was shot while trying and lift a wounded soldier who had fallen next to him.

“He once told me that all he wanted was a wife and a son and that he probably would never have that because he would die while serving,” she said.
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10 militants killed and detained in Afghan police operations

Officials in the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Afghanistan on Saturday announced, at least 10 armed insurgents were killed and detained following military operations by Afghan National Police forces during the past 24 hours.

According to a press release issued by the Afghan Interior Ministry, the militants were killed and injured following military operations at Badghis and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan.

The source further added, at least 6 militants were killed and 4 others were detained during the operations.

Afghan Interior Ministry officials also added, at least 2 mine planters were kiled at Badpakh district in Laghman province of Afghanistan last night while they were planting an improvised explosive device.

Anti-government armed militants group yet to comment regarding the reports.

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Two killed, 20 injured by suicide bombing in Syria's Daraa

Map of the districts of Daraa governorate in S...
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DAMASCUS, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Two people were killed and 20 others injured Saturday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Syria's southern Daraa province, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

The suicide bomber was riding a car and carried out the attack at al-Masri intersection in the heart of Daraa.

The blast also caused damage to nearby buildings at the intersection, said SANA.

The incident came as part of many suicide bombings targeting governmental institutions and security agencies. The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the attacks are proofs that it is being targeted by "armed terrorist groups," which it blames for the nearly one-year-old unrest.

Daraa, some 100 km south of the capital Damascus, was the birthplace of the anti-government movement that engulfed the country in March 2011.

The Syrian government said in December that "armed terrorist groups" killed more than 2,000 army and security personnel.

The United Nations said recently that "well over" 7,500 people have died in Syria's violence.
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Afghan intelligence seize 9,000 kgs explosives in Nangarhar

Afghan Intelligence (National Directorate for Security) officials on Saturday announced to discover and seized 9,000 kgs of explosives in eastern Nangarhar province, between Jalalabad and Torkham higways.

The officials further added, insurgents were struggling to use the explosives for carrying out insurgency attacks in various regions of eastern Nangarhar province.

Provincial Intelligence Media Department officials in eastern Nangarhar province said, the explosives were loaded on a truck vehicle.

The officials also added, no suspects have been detained in connection the explosives smuggle and Afghan security forces have launched a search operation in this regard.

Provincial Intelligence officials did not disclose further information regarding the exact date and location where the explosives were seized.

In the meantime Afghan Intelligence forces arrested an individual with 10 weapons between Jalalabad and Torkham highways and is currently under the investigations.

According to reports provincial intelligence forces in eastern Nangarhar province discovered and seized more than 18.5 tons of explosives from this province during the past one month.

The mentioned amount of explosives were handed over to the Disarmament Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) program in this province.

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Gunmen attack two security bases in southeast Yemen, one soldier killed

Yemen division 2011-10-23
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ADEN, Yemen, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Unknown gunmen launched attacks Saturday afternoon against two bases of the Yemeni security forces in the southeastern province of Hadramout, killing at least one soldier and injuring 20 others, a security official told Xinhua.

The unidentified attackers tossed three home-made grenades at the main gates of two headquarters affiliated to the central security forces in the coastal city of al-Mukalla, the capital city of Hadramout province, killing at least one soldier and injuring 20 others, the security official said on condition of anonymity.

"The masked assailants believed to be linked to the al-Qaida militants carried out two simultaneous attacks targeting the security headquarters in al-Mukalla city, causing huge explosions at the center of the military bases," the official said.

"The gunmen managed to flee the scene after conducting the operation by motorbikes," he said.

A local medic at a nearby hospital said that "one soldier was killed and 20 others injured in the explosion."

Local residents told Xinhua anonymously that "huge blasts rocked the neighborhoods of al-Mukalla followed by an exchange of heavy gunfire between the gunmen and the police troops."

The armed attacks came just hours after two al-Qaida suicide bombers drove a vehicle laden with explosives into an army base of the elite Republican Guards forces in the southeastern province of al-Bayda, killing themselves and a soldier, the country's Defense Ministry said.

Hadramout province, about 794 km southeast of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, has witnessed a suicide attack on a presidential palace that killed about 30 members of the Republican Guards last week.

Yemen's southern and eastern regions have recently been rocked by a string of suicide car bombings targeting government buildings and military officials. The government authorities usually accuse militants of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) of committing the crimes.

Newly-elected President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi vowed to strengthen security and intelligence cooperation with the United States in combating the AQAP, which has threatened the daily oil shipping routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
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Suicidal Islamist Explodes Car in Algeria; Wounds 23

Algerian officials say a suicide bomber has attacked a paramilitary base in the Sahara desert, wounding at least 23 people.

Officials say Saturday's attack took place in Tamanrasset, about 2,000 kilometers south of the Algerian capital. Officials said the bomber drove his vehicle into a crowd of police officers and civilians before setting off the explosives and killing himself.

Algeria and other countries in the area have been battling al-Qaida's north African branch, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb for years. But officials said this is the first time terrorists have struck so far south.

The French news agency said Saturday it had received a note from an al-Qaida splinter group, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, claiming responsibility for the attack.

The attack follows an announcement by Algeria's largest opposition party that it will take part in a May 10 parliamentary election.

Until now, the secular Front of Socialist Forces had boycotted every election since 1997. The FFS has strong support among Algeria's large Berber ethnic minority.

Political analysts had said the upcoming election would likely be a showdown between military-linked government parties and Islamist factions.
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7 Afghan army soldiers injured in militants attacks

Non Commissioned Officers of the Afghan Nation...
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According to officials in the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan, at least 7 Afghan National Army service members were injured.

The officials further added, Afghan National Army soldiers also seized some weapons and ammunitions during the operations.

Afghan Defense Ministry following a statement said, at least 5 Afghan National Army soldiers were injured at Delaram district of western Nimroz province while 2 others were injured at Moqor district of western Badghis province.

The source also added, Afghan National Army soldiers seized some weapons and ammunitions at Arghandab and Maiwand districts of southern Kandahar province.

The weapons and ammunitions included BM-1 missile, 1 Rocket Launcher, 4 magazines of AK-47 assault rifle, 320 rounds of small arms ammos and 4 hand grenades, officials said.

The officials also said, Afghan security forces seized a Rocket Launcher, PK Machine Gun, AK-47 assault rifle and pistol in a separate operation at Batikot district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Afghan security forces also seized an Improvised Explosive Device, PK Machine Gun with ammos, 8 Mortar rockets and 7 Rocket Launchers from Kandahar and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan.

Anti-government armed militants groups yet to comment regarding the reports.

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Mar.03., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Mar. 03) – A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache and detained several suspects during an operation in Marjah district, Helmand province, Thursday.

The cache consisted of approximately 4,732 pounds (2,151 kilograms) of opium and approximately 53 pounds (24 kilograms) of heroin.

Security forces detained several suspects and destroyed a majority of the drugs on site without incident. The remaining drugs were confiscated to be used as evidence.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation in Chahar Darah district, Kunduz province, today. The leader directed the emplacement of roadside bombs and provided weapons and funds to the insurgents in the area.

In Zharay district, Kandahar province, Afghan and coalition security forces conducted an operation in search of a Taliban leader today. The leader helps coordinate insurgent activities and provides logistical support to the Taliban between Kandahar City and the Herat area. The security force detained several suspected insurgents as a result of the operation.

A Combined Afghan and coalition security force captured an insurgent commander and two other suspected insurgents during an operation in Tarin Kot district, Uruzgan province, Thursday. One insurgent was an active commander and direct subordinate of a senior insurgent leader. He directed local-level insurgent operations and improvised explosive device attacks on coalition forces. He is also a known weapons dealer.

The insurgent commander and the two suspected insurgents were taken for further questioning and processing. No civilians were harmed during the conduct of this operation.
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