Saturday, November 19, 2011

Libyans Capture Seif al-Islam Qaddaffi

TRIPOLI, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Saif al-Islam, son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was captured in Sebha in southern Libya, an officer at the military council announced in Libya's capital of Tripoli on Saturday.
"We have captured Saif," said Bobkar Bobmala, a military officer of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) told reporters at a press conference, without providing more information about the capture.
"The NTC will give more details in a few hours," said Bobmala, adding that Saif may be transferred to Zintan, a city about 100 km southwest of Tripoli.
"This is a historic moment for the new born Libya," said a soldier named Assad Arabi, "He and his father killed so many people, now it's time for them to pay back."
The news came one day before the NTC was expected to announce the list of a new transitional government Sunday. At Tripoli, thousands of residents on Saturday came out from their homes and offices to celebrate the capture of Saif, waving flags and guns.
Saif has been on the run since forces of the NTC took over Tripoli in late August.
Saif is wanted by the International Criminal Court which issued warrants on June 27 against him as well as his father and Abdullah al-Senussi, former intelligence chief in Gaddafi's regime, on charges of crimes against humanity in cracking down anti-Gaddafi protests.

Two key Taliban financiers and facilitators captured in Kandahar

KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – In an operation that lasted just 40 minutes, Afghan and coalition security forces captured a Taliban financier and improvised explosive device facilitator in eastern Zharay district Nov. 17. The Afghan army and national police planned, rehearsed and led the operation.

Afghan soldiers with the 3rd Kandak, 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps, partnered with soldiers from Combined Task Force Spartan’s 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, to apprehend the two men, who are linked to insurgent operations in Senjaray and Kandalay.

Haji Pyrow Jan was a mid-level insurgent facilitator who financed insurgent operations through profits earned at a series of gas stations he owns along Highway 1, the main thoroughfare running through Zharay and Maiwand districts. When Afghan and coalition security forces detained Pyrow Jan, they used an Afghan-issued warrant to seize financial records and bookkeeping documents that will be exploited by Afghan and coalition forces’ law enforcement authorities.

Pyrow Jan’s accountant, who is suspected of being the key bookkeeper for insurgent operations in the area, was also detained at the scene.

Approximately 40 minutes after Haji Pyrow Jan’s capture, Afghan and coalition security forces captured Abdul Khaliq, a known Taliban intimidation cell leader. He is also a murder suspect in the deaths of several Afghan civilians throughout Kandalay and Senjaray.

Khaliq was known to frequent the Senjaray Bazaar, where he planned and coordinated operations in a shadowy manner under the cover of the flourishing bazaar.

Since April, Afghan and coalition security forces have seized nearly $850,500 in weapons and drug caches, and have killed or captured 41 high-value insurgents operating in the area.

Coalition forces’ leaders from the 2-87 Infantry Battalion and CTF Spartan are confident that the captures of Haji Pyrow Jan and Abdul Khaliq will reduce funding for insurgent operations in the winter and may affect operations into next spring.

Story by Capt. Kevin Sandell

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs

Nov. 19., 2011. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan
For Immediate Release

KABUL, Afghanistan (Nov. 19, 2011) —
A combined Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of an al-Qaida network facilitator in Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, Friday.

The facilitator trained insurgents and worked as a courier. He delivered messages and transported money for the al-Qaida network.

A shooter engaged the security force with small arms fire from a building inside of the compound during the operation. Assessing an immediate threat the security force returned fire, killing the facilitator.

The security force detained two suspected insurgents and destroyed multiple weapons to include bomb making material, firearms, grenades, and ammunition.

No civilians were injured during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

A coalition security force discovered a weapons cache based on a tip received during an operation in Marjeh district, Helmand province, yesterday.  The cache consisted of five rocket-propelled grenades, 40 rounds of small arms ammunition and 30 feet of detonation cord. All of the weapons were confiscated to be destroyed at a later date and no civilian casualties or damages were reported as a result of the operation.

A Taliban leader was captured by a combined Afghan and coalition security force during an operation in Kandahar district, Kandahar province, yesterday. The leader planned large scale attacks in Kandahar province.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force was fired upon by individuals at an Afghan National Security Force checkpoint while on an operation in Ghazni district, Ghazni province, yesterday. Individuals at hasty an ANSF checkpoint engaged the security force with rocket-propelled grenades, mortar and small arms fire. The security force requested air support in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. After multiple attempts to identify themselves as friendly forces, the security force was unable to stop the threat and engaged the checkpoint in self-defense, killing two individuals. Afghan National Police responded to the compound to assess the situation and render medical care if needed following the incident. Three additional personnel were wounded in the incident. An investigation will be conducted.

A coalition patrol discovered a weapons cache in Kajaki district, Helmand province, today. The cache consisted of one 82 mm mortar and 17 rocket propelled grenades. The weapons were destroyed at the scene and there were no reported casualties or damages during the operation.

A Haqqani network leader was captured by a combined Afghan and coalition security force during an operation in Bak district, Khost province, yesterday. The leader planned suicide bomb attacks. The security force detained two additional suspected insurgents during the operation.

In Terayzai district, Khost province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during an operation in search of a Haqqani network facilitator, yesterday. The facilitator coordinates the movement of fighters, weapons, ammunition and explosives throughout the region. Multiple weapons were confiscated during the operation.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during an operation in search of a Haqqani network leader in Sperah district, Khost province, yesterday. The leader directs the movement of senior Haqqani leaders and distributes weapons, vehicles and munitions.

Operation Gratitude Comforts Children of Deployed Service Members

Caydance Thompson helps her parent unload a pallet of Battalion Buddies. Battalion Buddies are stuffed animals distributed to deploying service members to give to their children as a parting gift. (U.S. Air Force photo by Adrian Rowan)
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del.  - As many Team Dover members know, deployments not only take a toll on the service members who face peril abroad, but on their families who are left without a loved one. Too often, this group is unaddressed by the common saying “support the troops.”
Operation Gratitude aims to extend the same measure of support to family members left behind by donating care packages. These packages contain treats and a teddy bear, aptly named ‘Battalion Buddies.’
At Dover Air Force Base, Del., key-spouses’ club members from 14 squadrons conducted the first mass delivery of Operation Gratitude care packages to deploying service members Oct. 31. These packages can then be presented by deploying parents to their children as a parting gift.

By Airman 1st Class Samuel Taylor436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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R.I.P. - Spc. Sean M. Walsh

Nov.18. -

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
            Spc. Sean M. Walsh, 21, of San Jose, Calif., died Nov. 16, in Khowst province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained after encountering indirect fire.  He was assigned to the 185th Military Police Battalion, 49th Military Police Brigade, Pittsburg, Calif.
            For more information related to this release, the media may contact the California National Guard public affairs office at 916-854-3391.

RIP Lt David Boyce and LCpl Richard Scanlon
Lieutenant David Boyce and Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon [Picture: via MOD]

Nov.18 -
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lieutenant David Alexander Grant Boyce and Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon, both from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 17 November 2011.
Both soldiers were serving with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force. They were on a patrol providing security in the Yakchal region of Nahr-e-Saraj, in Central Helmand, when their armoured vehicle struck an Improvised Explosive Device. Tragically, both men were killed in the resulting explosion.

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Seven Afghan children die in two blasts

Nov.18., -
Eight Afghans, including seven children, have been killed in two separate blasts on Friday, officials said, the latest civilian deaths to hit the troubled country.
In the first incident, four children died when a roadside bomb went off as they played near their home in Nangarhar province, near the country's eastern border with Pakistan.
In the second, three children and an old man, all members of the same family, were killed when their rickshaw hit another roadside bomb in the southern province of Uruzgan.
The killings were the latest reminders of the high death toll suffered by civilians in the war since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban from power.
"Four children were killed and six others were slightly injured as a result of a roadside bomb explosion," said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar.
But the interior ministry said the explosion was caused by a mortar apparently left over from Afghanistan's decades of war. It put the death toll at two.
Afghanistan faced years of conflict before 2001 and explosive devices dating from this period regularly cause deaths and injuries, often to curious children.
However, most bombings are linked to the Taliban-led insurgency, despite a call from Taliban leader Mullah Omar earlier this month for fighters to limit civilian casualties.
A spokesman for the chief of police in Uruzgan, Farid Ail, said the second blast came as the three children and one man were driving towards their home.
"As a result of the explosion, three children and an elderly man died," he said.

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