Thursday, February 9, 2012

R.I.P. - Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, 42, of Tupelo, Miss., died Feb. 7 in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.   He was assigned to the 223rd Engineer Battalion, 168th Engineer Brigade, Mississippi National Guard, West Point, Miss.

            For more information the media may contact Tim Powell at 601-313-6184.

from WTVA

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- A Mooreville soldier has died while serving in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Department of Defense reports Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, 42, died Feb. 7 in Uruzgan, Afghanistan.  

He was assigned to the 223rd Engineer Battalion, 168th Engineer Brigade, based in West Point.

A National Guard spokesman says Sgt. Sutton was a part of the 288th Engineer Sapper Company which deals with explosives.

The 223rd deployed for active duty in October and his unit was reportedly expected to return to the U.S. in the fall of 2012.
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NATO air raid kill 8 Afghan civilians in Kapisa province

Map of Kapisa Province.
Image via Wikipedia
According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least 8 Afghan civilians were killed following an air raid by International Coalition forces in eastern Kapisa province.

The officials further added, the incident took place in Nejrab district of eastern Kapisa province.

A number of local residents said, the civilians were killed while they were feeding their animals on a mountain in Giawa in Nejrab district.

In the meantime Kapisa provincial security chief Abdul Hamid said, the identities of those killed during the air raid is not recognized yet.

He also said, investigations have been put in place to find out the facts behind the incident.

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Explosion in Helmand kill and injure 3 Afghan police

According to local authorities in southern Afghanistan, at least 3 Afghan National police service members were killed and injured following an explosion in southern Helmand province on Thursday.

The officials further added, the incident took place around 10:30 am local time killing at least 2 Afghan police and injuring 1 other.

Provincial governor spokesman Daud Ahmadi confirming the report said, the incident took place after an explosive device planted in a road culvert went off at Lashkargah city.

Mr. Ahmadi further added, Afghan police forces were struggling to defuse the roadside bomb when the explosion took place.

No group including the Taliban militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Taliban militants frequently use improvised explosive device and roadside bombs to target Afghan and coalition security forces.

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US Predators strike again in Miramshah

Unmanned US drones struck in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan for the second time in 24 hours, killing four "militants," including a senior Taliban leader linked to al Qaeda.

The Predators or the more heavily armed Reapers fired a pair of missiles at a compound in Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan today, according to AFP and Geo News.

Pakistani intelligence officials said that Badr Mansoor, a Taliban commander with close ties to al Qaeda, was killed in the strike. Mansoor rain training camps in the area and sent fighters to battle NATO and Afghan forces across the border, according to AFP. One Pakistani official told AFP that Mansoor was al Qaeda's chief in Pakistan. A US intelligence official said he was a member of al Qaeda's leadership council for Pakistan.

The Haqqani Network, a Taliban group that operates in North Waziristan as well as in eastern Afghanistan, administers the area where today's attack took place. Al Qaeda leaders and operatives, who are closely allied with the Haqqani Network, shelter in the area, as do other terror groups.
The strike is the second in 24 hours. Earlier today, the CIA-operated drones killed 10 Haqqani Network and Central Asian fighters in an attack on a compound in the village of Tappi, just outside of Miramshah.

The US has carried out five strikes in North Waziristan since Jan. 11. All five strikes took place in and around Miramshah. The Jan. 11 strike was the first in 55 days. The program was put on hold following a clash between US forces and Pakistani Frontier Corps troops on the border of the Afghan province of Kunar and the Pakistani tribal area of Mohmand on Nov. 25-26. The US troops struck in Pakistan after taking mortar and machine gun fire on the Afghan side of the border from Pakistani troops. Twenty-four Pakistani Frontier Corps troops were killed. The pause was the longest since the program was ramped up at the end of July 2008 [see LWJ report, US drone strikes in Pakistan on longest pause since 2008].

The Jan. 11 strike killed Aslam Awan, a deputy to the leader of al Qaeda's external operations network. Awan was a Pakistani citizen from Abbottabad, the same town where Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in a cross-border raid in May 2011. Awan is the most senior al Qaeda leader killed in a drone strike since mid-October, when Abu Miqdad al Masri, a member of al Qaeda's Shura Majlis who also was involved in al Qaeda's external operations, was killed. [For a list of senior terrorist leaders and operatives killed in drone strikes, see LWJ report, Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2012.]

Abu Zubaydah al Lubnani, a Lebanese al Qaeda operative who operates along the Afghan-Pakistani border, has said that while the drones have "delayed some operations or even stopped them," the terror group is still functioning in the region.

"I want here to confirm that Qaedat al-Jihad is still standing in Khorasan, solid and strong, despite what hit it, and it is still producing operations and it doesn't know the path of despair...," Lubnani said in statement that was recently released on jihadist forums. The statement was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

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Feb.09., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Feb. 09) – In Panjwa’i district, Kandahar province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during an operation yesterday.

The cache consisted of approximately 2,534 pounds (1,152 kilograms) of marijuana.

The security force confiscated the drugs and destroyed them without incident.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation in Nawa district, Helmand province, today. The leader provided insurgent fighters with weapons and coordinated attacks in Washer and Nahr-e Saraj districts. One additional suspected insurgent was detained.

In Shinwar district, Nangarhar province, an Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation today. The leader specialized in explosives and conducted multiple attacks in Shinwar district. Several suspected insurgents were also detained during the operation.
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