31 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-255

ANP capture key Taliban leader

KHOWST, Afghanistan – Yesterday, Afghanistan National Police successfully defended against an assault on the Sar Hawzeh district center in the Paktika Province and in the process, captured a key Taliban leader.

The commander, known as Engineer Majeed, was seriously wounded during the attack and follow on pursuit; he was captured at the village clinic after his forces fled.

The district center came under direct small arms fire from about 25 Taliban fighters according to ANSF officials.  ANP re-enforcements quickly arrived from Orgun-E and pushed back the enemy attack.  During the gunfire, Majeed was shot once in the torso and once in the left arm.  He sought emergency medical treatment at the clinic, where his forces left him as they retreated into the mountainous border area.

One ANP soldier was reported missing after the engagement and pursuit.  It is believed that he was possibly taken hostage by enemy fighters as they retreated.

“This demonstrates the capability and improvements of the ANP.  They successfully defended the district center and the people during the initial attack and were quickly able to bring in additional officers to secure the village,” said Lt. Col. Christopher R. Toner, commander of ISAF security forces in Paktika Province.

ANSF officials requested ISAF ground and air support as they continued to pursue the enemy in the surrounding mountains and search for the missing ANP soldier.

Referring to Majeed, “He is a known Taliban sub commander, who has actively threatened the local populace and attacked both ISAF and ANSF security forces.  This is another example of the progress and professionalism of the ANP.  It further demonstrates the improved ability of Afghan security forces to bring security and stability to the people of Paktika,” said Task Force Fury spokesman, Major Donald A. Korpi.

According to ISAF officials this is the second failed attack by insurgents in the last two weeks in Paktika Province.

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/