17 Jan 2007

PR# 2007-047

Senior insurgent leader arrested in Helmand

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – During the night Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and ISAF soldiers conducted a meticulously planned and executed raid on a compound in the Gereshk district of Helmand province.

The raid succeeded in the capture of a prominent Taliban commander who was wanted for questioning by the Afghan National Police in relation to a large number of criminal acts. The commander fled from the recent Operation BAAZ TSUKA, a highly successful operation that has driven the insurgents from the Zahre and Panjawayi districts of Kandahar province and is bringing resettlement and eventual reconstruction to the area.

This operation demonstrates the resolve of the ANSF and ISAF to remove insurgent leaders wherever they are and continues the success shown on 13 and 19 December where precision strikes were used to remove key insurgent leaders at the start of the operation. This seizure represents the first arrest by ANSF and ISAF of a known Taliban leader and clearly demonstrates the Government of Afghanistan’s employment of minimum force.

“This seizure of a Taliban commander, once again shows that there is nowhere to hide for insurgent leaders” stated Squadron Leader Dave Marsh, spokesman for Regional Command-South. “Despite trying to hide within the community he has been arrested without resistance. For those remaining insurgents, they have a chance to re-build their lives through the governments reconciliation programme otherwise they will suffer a similar fate to this leader.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/