7 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-155

Kandahar Province Taliban extremist commander captured by Afghan National Army

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Yesterday, an Afghan National Army (ANA) checkpoint caught Mullah Mahmood, a senior Taliban extremist commander and suicide attack facilitator for Kandahar Province. He was caught trying to escape from the Panjwaii area of Kandahar Province.

The arrest happened yesterday when a large ANA maneuver element forced the Taliban extremist to attempt his escape while dressed in a burka. The alert ANA soldiers at this check point spotted the oddity and quickly arrested him.

“The capture of this senior Taliban extremist is another indicator that a more normal life is returning to the Zahre and Panjwaii Districts and a testament to the great work the ANA is achieving,” said Major General Ton van Loon, Command, ISAF Regional Command South.

He added, “Yesterday’s security crackdown in Panjwaii is an example of the ultimate goal of Operation Achilles. With stability provided by the ANA, much needed reconstruction will commence for the people of Southern Afghanistan.”

The Taliban extremist leader was trying to escape from the Panjwaii area, south west of Kandahar City and the site of the joint ANSF and ISAF Operation BAAZ TSUKA. This operation launched last December has brought increased levels of security to the Zahre and Panjwaii Districts which, in turn, has resulted in over 10,000 families returning to the area. The two Districts are benefiting from on-going reconstruction and development.

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/