Taliban Commander Captured In Afghan-led Sotg Operation

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14th March 2010, 01:02pm - Views: 903

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Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

MSPA 066/10

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Taliban commander captured in Afghan-led SOTG operation

A key Taliban insurgent commander was recently captured in a deliberate operation

led by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the Australian Special

Operations Task Group (SOTG).

The combined operation detained a key insurgent leader and Improvised Explosive

Device coordinator Mullah Janan Andewahl in the Mirabad Valley Region of

Oruzgan Province.

Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, said the insurgent

commander had been responsible for directing attacks and roadside bombings against

local Afghan civilians, and Afghan and ISAF security forces.

“Mullah Janan Andewahl posed a very serious threat to the safety and prosperity of

people living in Oruzgan Province and he has been a person of interest for some

time,” Lieutenant General Evans said.

“In addition to his role as a key facilitator of Improvised Explosive Devices used

against the local population and international forces, including Australians, we believe

he was also behind a number of organised attacks and executions against the local

population in the Mirabad district.”

There is some evidence that Mullah Janan Andewahl travelled extensively across

southern Afghanistan in an effort to avoid capture by security forces.

He is now in the custody of Afghan local authorities after his identity was confirmed.

Lieutenant General Evans said the combined operations by the ANSF and the SOTG

were creating an environment in which the Afghan Government could continue to

improve security and the conditions for the future development of Oruzgan province.

“Ensuring that Mullah Janan Andewahl, and those like him, enter the justice system

for prosecution under the laws of Afghanistan reinforces to the local population, who

have been terrorised by these extremists, that their Government is intent on restoring


The SOTG is continuing its operations to disrupt the Taliban insurgent command and

control network in Oruzgan province.  As these operations are ongoing, no specific

details of the operation will be released.

Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

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