Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition force conducted a security operation, in Watahpur district, Kunar province, today.

The target of the operation was Nabi Rahman, a Taliban leader and explosives expert who coordinated the movement of insurgents in the region, provided explosive materials and training to insurgents, and planned attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

During the operation, the Afghan and coalition security force requested a precision airstrike. After the strike, the security force conducted a follow-on assessment and confirmed Rahman had been killed.

The precision airstrike did not damage any civilian property and did not harm any civilians.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Taliban leader in Baghlan-e Jadid district, Baghlan province, today. The Taliban leader is responsible for multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. During the operation, insurgents attacked the security force. The Afghan and coalition troops returned fire, killing several of the insurgents. As a result of the operation, the security force also detained numerous suspected insurgents and seized one AK-47 with grenade launcher, one pistol, ammunition and more than a dozen grenades.


An Afghan and coalition security force discovered a narcotics cache during an operation in Zharay district, Kandahar province, yesterday. The cache contained 907 kilograms (1,995 pounds) of Hashish. The drugs were destroyed by Afghan forces.

In Tarnek wa Jaldak district, Zabul province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a weapons trafficker today. The weapons trafficker coordinated the transport of weapons and rockets to insurgents and was responsible for recruiting and training suicide bombers to attack Afghan and coalition forces in the area. During the operation, insurgents attacked the Afghan and coalition security force. The security force returned fire and killed the weapons trafficker and one other insurgent. They also seized multiple AK-47’s and a grenade.

An Afghan-led security force, supported by coalition troops, detained a Taliban weapons facilitator in Zharay district, Kandahar province, today. The facilitator was responsible for the acquisition and distribution of weapons and ammunition to insurgent groups throughout the Shah Wali Kot and Zharay districts. The security force also detained several suspected insurgents and seized a weapon as a result of the operation.

An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Taliban leader in Nawah-ye Barakzai district, Helmand province, today. The leader is involved in the acquisition of suicide vests and directed multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces throughout the region. During the operation, the security force detained several suspected insurgents and multiple AK-47’s.


An Afghan-led security force, supported by coalition troops, detained a Haqqani leader in Musa Khel district, Khost province, today. The leader was one of those responsible for planning the suicide bombing in Khost province Wednesday. He also coordinated the movement of weapons and improvised explosive devices for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition convoys in the area. The security force also detained several suspected insurgents during the operation.

In Sabari district, Khost province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Haqqani leader today. He is another Haqqani leader who was involved in the suicide attack in Khost on Wednesday. During the operation, the security force detained numerous suspected insurgents.

Finally, an Afghan and coalition security force detained a Taliban leader who specializes in improvised explosive devices in Wali Muhammad Shahid Khugyani district, Ghazni province, today. The leader was involved in the construction, transportation and placement of IED’s used in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He was also responsible for conducting direct-fire attacks and providing information to senior Taliban leaders in the region. The security force also detained two suspected insurgents as a result of the operation.

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ISAF statement on insurgent attack at Kabul Area Hotel

KABUL, Afghanistan – The following is a statement from Gen. John R. Allen, commander, International Security Assistance Force, in regard to the attack on Spozhmai Hotel west of Kabul City. This attack resulted in the deaths of a number of Afghan civilians, and others being taken hostage.

“This latest attack comes after insurgents failed to disrupt the recent Heart of Asia conference. Afghan National Security Forces and coalition military sources acknowledge that this attack bears the signature of the Haqqani network, which continues to target and kill innocent Afghans and blatantly violate Afghan sovereignty from the safety of Pakistan.”

“Our condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those defenseless Afghans who were murdered in their sleep during the early morning hours of Jum’ ah by the enemies of peace in Afghanistan. There is no doubt that innocent Afghan civilians were the intended targets of this unspeakably brutal attack. Additionally, a number of security guards and law enforcement officers gave their lives protecting women and children. These atrocities should be condemned in the strongest of terms.”

“I am extremely impressed with the Afghan police and special response units who arrived quickly to secure the scene and liberate civilian hostages. While we provided minimal support at the request of the Afghan security forces, there should be little doubt about their ability and capability to protect the Afghan people in the years ahead.”

International Security Assistance Force HQ Public Affairs
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Afghan Taliban attack on hotel near Kabul ends

Afghan security forces have ended a 12-hour attack by Taliban militants on a hotel outside Kabul, in which at least 20 people died, officials say.

Insurgents attacked the Spozhmai Hotel in the Lake Qargha area on Thursday night, taking many hostages.
from BBC
22 June 2012 Last updated at 09:48 GMT
Kabul's police chief said 15 civilians, including hotel guests, died. All five insurgents were killed.

The Taliban claimed the attack, saying the hotel was used by wealthy Afghans and foreigners for "wild parties".

Lake Qargha is on the outskirts of Kabul and is favoured by residents of the Afghan capital for day trips and family outings.

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville, in Kabul, says this was an easy target for the Taliban, in a fairly remote area, with little security.

Foreigners rarely visit the lake, our correspondent says.

In addition to the five militants, those killed included civilians, hotel guards and a police officer.

Dozens of people were taken hostage.

video on the BBC website

AFP news agency photographer Massoud Hossaini, who went into the hotel after the siege ended, told the BBC: "All the walls have been torn apart with bullets; all the furniture and all the things that were there like carpets are torn and damaged.

"I saw the bodies of some fighters and their bodies were in bits and pieces. There are a lot of bullets casings here, lots of them."

The gunmen, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, launched the attack on the hotel late on Thursday, officials say.

Maihan Saeedi, who left the area shortly before the attack began, told the BBC the hotel was full of civilians, including women and children.

The area was busy because it was Thursday night, the start of the Afghan weekend.

"When we left the hotel, we heard gunfire as we reached one of the [three security] checkpoints near the hotel," he said.

"I'm completely shocked at how people managed to cross these checkpoints - it really raises questions over the levels of security, which is all commercialised."

He said one of his friends inside the hotel told him by phone that people were trying to escape by jumping out through the windows and into the lake.

"It just shows that the Taliban are there to kill civilians," Mr Saeedi said.

The Taliban attacked the hotel because foreigners there were drinking alcohol and participating in other activities banned by Islam, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the Associated Press.

The security operation was led by Afghan security forces, with support from the US-led coalition.

In recent months, the Afghan army and police have taken the lead in battling some of the most challenging insurgent attacks, winning praise and a measure of support from the Afghan population.

Violence has recently increased across the country, with at least three US soldiers and about 20 Afghans killed in a series of attacks over the past seven days.

The attacks come as Nato gradually hands responsibility for security to Afghan forces, ahead of the departure of combat troops in 2014.

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R.I.P. - 1st Lt. Ryan D. Rawl, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew B. Thomas, Spc. John D. Meador II

DOD Identifies Army Casualties

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            They died June 20, in Khowst province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with small arms fire and an improvised explosive device.  They were assigned to the 133rd Military Police Company, 51st Military Police Battalion, Florence, S.C.

            Killed were:

            1st Lt. Ryan D. Rawl, 30, Lexington, S.C.,

            Sgt. 1st Class Matthew B. Thomas, 30, Travelers Rest, S.C., and

            Spc. John D. Meador II, 36, Columbia, S.C.

            For more information the media may contact the South Carolina National Guard public affairs office at 803-806-4327.


COLUMBIA — Three South Carolina Army National Guard soldiers were killed and five wounded in an attack by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston identified the three killed as 1st Lt. Ryan Rawl of Lexington, 30; Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Thomas of Easley, 30; and Spc. John Meador of Columbia, 36.

Livingston, the state’s Adjutant General, would not identify the five wounded.

All eight were serving with the 133rd Military Police Co., based in Timmonsville. The unit was activated last year and due to return home in August.

“These men died serving their country and I want to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to their families, who are the unsung heroes of our war effort,” Livingston said in a statement. “These deaths are grim reminders that our military, to include our South Carolina National Guard, is still in active defense of our country. We are privileged to have such heroes in our midst.”

Livingston says the suicide bomber attacked the soldiers Wednesday in the city of Khost, about 90 miles southeast of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The attack claimed 21 lives in all. The assailant detonated his explosives in the packed marketplace as he approached Afghan and U.S. soldiers at the traffic control point, said Baryalai Wakman, a spokesman for the Khost provincial government.

In a separate statement, Gov. Nikki Haley said she and her husband, Michael, were deeply saddened by the news. Michael Haley is an officer with the South Carolina Army National Guard.

“This tragic news is a constant reminder that our men and women in uniform and their families deserve our thanks each and every day,” Haley said. “We continue to pray for the recovery of the injured and the families of the lost, and South Carolina will now put all of our focus on helping them going forward.”

Livingston said the deaths were the first connected to a South Carolina Guard unit in Afghanistan since October 2010, when Staff Sgt. Willie Harley of Aiken and Sgt. Luther Rabon Jr. of Lexington died in Paktika province when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

Rawl had served with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department since 2005, according to Sheriff Leon Lott.

“Rawl was willing to stand up to protect and serve; it was with that same pride he did so in his military uniform. He was an example to men and women who wear the uniform everywhere,” Lott said in a statement.

Rawl graduated from The Citadel and worked as a patrolman and later as a resource officer at Crayton Middle School in Columbia.

Livingston said the mission of the South Carolina unit was to train members of the Afghan police.

The unit deployed 170 soldiers to Afghanistan in November 2011.

Livingston said 16 members of the South Carolina National Guard have died in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003.

Nearly 1,900 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since the war began more than a decade ago.

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