4 Taliban leaders arrested in Afghanistan

Updated: 2013-01-22 17:11


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KABUL - Afghan forces and the NATO-led coalition troops have arrested four Taliban local leaders in separate operations, the coalition forces said Tuesday.

"An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in Lashkar Gah district, Helmand province, today," the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a press release.

The leader controlled improvised explosive device (IED) operations. Insurgents under his control constructed and emplaced IEDs and had recently begun using magnetic IEDs to target Afghan army vehicles in the province 555 km south of capital Kabul, it said without disclosing the name of the man.

He also was responsible for directing insurgent attacks against coalition forces, the release reads.

In neighboring Kandahar province, 450 km south of Kabul, the joint forces captured two leaders in Maiwand and Spin Boldak Districts Tuesday morning, according to the release.

Kandahar and Helmand province has long been a stronghold for insurgent groups despite several military operations by US troops and Afghan security forces over the past couple of years.

In addition, a Haqqani weapons facilitator was destined in Pul-e Alam district, Logar province, 60 km south of Kabul earlier in the day.

"During the operation, the security force seized weapons, ammunition and 300,000 Afghani ($5,800)," it added.

As a Taliban-linked group of militants, the Haqqani network mostly operates in eastern provinces and Kabul, has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against security forces.

The Taliban insurgent group, which has been waging an insurgency since its regime was toppled by a US-led invasion in late 2001, has yet to make comments.

Afghan forces and some 100,000 coalition troops have intensified cleanup operations against militants throughout the country recently. However, the insurgents responded by carrying out suicide bombings and organizing IED blasts.

On Monday, three unarmed traffic policemen were killed and 12 others including eight civilians were wounded when Taliban launched a suicide coordinated attack against Traffic Police Headquarters in Kabul, sparking a nine-hour fighting that also left all five attackers dead.

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