Taliban Leader Captured In Afghan - Led Special Operations Task Group Operation

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21st April 2010, 12:37pm - Views: 479





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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE



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

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545


MSPA 117/10

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Taliban Leader Captured in Afghan – led Special Operations Task

Group Operation


A Taliban insurgent commander suspected of being responsible for the Improvised

Explosive Device (IED) attacks that wounded four Australian soldiers last month has

been captured in a combined Afghan National Security Force and Special Operations

Task Group targeted operation. 


The Special Operations Task Group and its Afghan partner unit, the Provincial Police

Reserve, detained insurgent leader Mullah Faqir and four other individuals during a

joint clearance operation in the Mirabad Valley region of Oruzgan Province on 12

April, 2010.


Commander Joint Task Force 633, Major General John Cantwell said Mullah Faqir

was a key tactical commander for the insurgency as it attempted to reconstitute itself

in Oruzgan at the beginning of the traditional summer fighting season. 


“Mullah Faqir has been known to Coalition Forces in Afghanistan for a number of

years,” Major General Cantwell said. 


“He commanded a significant number of insurgent fighters and coordinated the

construction and placement of Improvised Explosive Devices as well as directing

attacks against security forces in the region. 


“His capture represents a significant blow to the Taliban’s ability to plan and

coordinate attacks against the Mirabad Valley population and against Australian,

Afghan and Coalition Forces working to bring security to that area.”


Mullah Faqir was transferred to the custody of Dutch Forces, before subsequently

being transferred to the Afghan security services after his identity was confirmed.  He

will now be processed within the Afghan justice system. Three of the four others

detained with Mullah Faqir have also been transferred by Dutch forces to Afghan

authorities for prosecution. The fourth Afghan detained with Mullah Faqir was

released.


Major General Cantwell praised the work of the Special Operations Task Group in

disrupting the Taliban’s IED  network in recent weeks.


“Australia’s Special Forces troops have done a magnificent job supporting their mates

in the 1st Mentoring Task Force by capturing the individual suspected of being

responsible for the attacks that wounded four Australian soldiers in March,” Major

General Cantwell said. 


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DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE



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

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545

Media Releases are available via e-mail if you register at www.defence.gov.au/media


“By disrupting the Taliban’s local leadership and networks in this way, the Afghan

Provincial Police Reserve and the SOTG are creating an environment in which the

Afghan Government can continue to improve security and develop the conditions

necessary for the future prosperity of Oruzgan locals. 


Mullah Faqir and the other captured insurgents will now go before Afghanistan’s

justice system.


Last month the Special Operations Task Group, and their partnered Afghan Police

colleagues, captured key insurgent IED coordinator Mullah Janan Andewhal and a

number of other individuals involved in the construction and placement of IEDs.


The Special Operations Task Group is continuing its operations to disrupt the Taliban

command and control network in Southern Afghanistan. As these operations are

ongoing, no specific details concerning the tactics and techniques employed during

this operation will be released.



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






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