Wednesday, October 3, 2012

18 Armed Taliban Killed, 1 Wounded and 17 Arrested by ANP (03.Oct.2012.)

Publish Date: Oct 03, 2012
18 Armed Taliban Killed, One Wounded and 17 Arrested by Afghan National Police

During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces launched eight joint clearance operations in Kabul, Laghman, Kunduz, Kandahar, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghor and Helmand provinces.

As a result of these operations, 18 armed Taliban were killed, one wounded and 17 others were arrested by Afghan National Police.

Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated some amount of light and heavy rounds, 49 kilos of opium and one motorcycle.

In the meantime, Afghan National Police arrested a mine planter while he was planting an anti-vehicle mine in the main road of Zurmat District of Paktiya province, yesterday.

Additionally, Afghan National Police discovered and defused one anti-vehicle mine and 1200 kilos of explosives as a result of security operations in Panjshir and Zabul provinces, yesterday.
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained three individuals accused of theft in the Dah Sabz and 8th District of Kabul-City.
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R.I.P. - Sgt. 1st Class Aaron A. Henderson

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

            Sgt. 1st Class Aaron A. Henderson, 33, of Houlton, Maine, died Oct. 2, at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit on Sept. 30 with an improvised explosive device in Zombalay Village, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.

            For more information the media may contact the U.S. Army Special Forces Command public affairs at 910-689-6187.

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 03, 2012, at 2:23 p.m.  
Last modified Oct. 03, 2012, at 2:48 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — Less than a month ago, Jeff Swimm of Houlton had a surprise encounter with his friend and former colleague, Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Henderson.

The two met in a grocery store while Henderson was visiting his family, caught up for a few minutes and exchanged phone numbers.

So when Swimm got a text message Monday telling him that Henderson had been severely injured in an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan, his heart sank. His stomach lurched. He sat at home and wondered if there was anything he could do.

The next morning, he awoke and checked Henderson’s Facebook page. And that’s when he learned the truth.

Henderson was dead. There was nothing he could do.

“I saw all of the [memorial] messages on his page and I think I cried for about an hour,” Swimm said Wednesday. “I mean, I just saw him three weeks ago. It’s crazy. I just saw him.”

Henderson, a member of U.S. Army A Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, died Monday at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan from wounds suffered in the attack on Sept. 30 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Henderson was a Special Forces communications sergeant in a company headquartered at Fort Campbell, Ky., according to information provided Wednesday by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

This was his fourth deployment in support of combat operations.
Henderson completed three deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before his most recent deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Swimm and Henderson met when they were teenagers, having just graduated from high school and taken jobs at a Houlton gas station.
Hardworking, kind and close to his family, Henderson had a personality “that just stuck with you,” Swimm said Wednesday.

“He was quite a character,” he said. “We would hang out after work and on weekends sometimes, and we had a lot of fun together. He loved to fish and was really into sports. We worked together for a couple of years.”

Lori Weston, community development director for the town of Houlton, said it was Henderson’s “gregarious” character that helped draw him close to her three sons. The friendship meant lots of get-togethers between the two families. Henderson’s mother, Christine, and older brother, Sam, live in Houlton. His father, Dallas, a successful insurance salesman, died in 2010. A beloved figure in the community, Dallas Henderson once jumped into a swollen river behind his office to save two teenagers who had been swept away by the current and were struggling to get to shore.

“Our families just melded together immediately,” Weston said. “There were lots of baseball and basketball games. Aaron was just such a unique guy. You felt his presence when he came into a room. When he talked to you, he really talked to you. He focused. He listened. Everyone else and everything else just melted away.”

Being a Green Beret was a “natural fit” for Henderson, she said.

“He was doing something on a grander scale to help people,” she noted.

Her three sons are devastated and in disbelief over the death of their friend.

Weston visited the Henderson family Tuesday evening.

“Their hearts are shattered,” said Weston. “They are still mourning the death of a husband and father. Christine described it as ‘surreal.’ It’s just almost too much to bear.”

Henderson had a tight bond with his older brother, she said.

“Sam and Aaron weren’t just brothers, they were best friends,” said Weston. “It was Sam who was first notified that Aaron had been injured. He is inconsolable.”

At Hodgdon High School, which Henderson graduated from in 1997, a sign outside the school states: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Henderson family.”

On Wednesday morning, WHOU, a Houlton radio station, held a moment of silence on the air before playing music in his memory.

Funeral arrangements were pending Wednesday afternoon.

Swimm, reflecting on that last visit in the grocery store, said he told Henderson that the two should get together for a drink the next time he visited.

Henderson agreed.

Swimm paused as he remembered that final goodbye.

“I wish we’d had that last drink,” he said Wednesday.
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Somali militants hit Kismayu as African troops move in

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - African Union troops and tanks occupied al Shabaab's former stronghold of Kismayu on Tuesday, but the Somali Islamist militants gave notice of their intention to fight back, saying they detonated a bomb in the port city.

The blast points to the al Qaeda-linked rebels' ability to hit back with covert strikes and continues a pattern of attacks in other urban strongholds from where they have retreated under military pressure, including the capital.

A spokesman for al Shabaab's military operations, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, said the bomb was planted inside a district administration office building now housing Somali troops and warned of more attacks.

"This is only an introduction to the forthcoming explosions," he told Reuters. The militants had succeeded in "killing many", Musab said.

The government said the explosion caused no casualties.

Kenyan troops fighting under the AU flag entered Kismayu for the first time on Tuesday after launching an offensive against the port on Friday, forcing the rebels to flee.

They followed hundreds of Somali government troops and allied militia fighters who deployed in the city on Monday.

Al Shabaab's strength is hard to gauge. Mohamud Farah, a spokesman for Somalia's government forces, said between 4,000-5,000 fighters were hiding in the southern Juba regions.

Hundreds of foreign fighters had joined the insurgency at its peak from countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania as well as the United States and Britain, Somalia's last government said.

"Foreign fighters (also) started leaving when they saw their space was shrinking," a Nairobi-based security adviser said, referring to the offensive by African Union and Somali government troops that has steadily won back rebel-held ground over the past 14 months.

After the surrender of Kismayu, defection rates among footsoldiers were also expected to pick up, with the rebel group seen as a losing proposition.

What will be left behind, analysts say, is a hardline core.

Whether al Shabaab is able to wage a prolonged campaign of guerrilla attacks on Kismayu will largely hinge on Mogadishu's success in establishing a regional administration that satisfies competing clan interests in the south.

"If you have marginalised clans, al Shabaab will find allies in them. If all clans are on board it will be hard for al Shabaab to infiltrate Kismayu," the security adviser said.

Read more:

By Abdi Sheikh
Wed Oct 3, 2012 5:38am GMT

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Oct. 03., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan and coalition security force killed the leader of a Taliban improvised explosive device cell in Alisheng district, Laghman province, today.

The Taliban leader, Rohullah Kahoon, is believed to be responsible for multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces using IEDs, rocket-propelled grenades and indirect fire munitions, such as rockets and mortars.

In the weeks prior to his death, the Taliban IED cell leader had reportedly been stockpiling weapons for future insurgent attacks, including ammunition and explosives.

After positively identifying Rohullah Kahoon and a group of armed insurgents away from civilian structures, the security force engaged with a precision airstrike, killing him and three additional insurgents.

A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and no civilian property was damaged during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout


Afghan and coalition forces confirmed one of the insurgents captured during a security operation in Pul-e 'Alam district, Logar province, Tuesday, is a Haqqani leader and weapons financier. The detained Haqqani leader is believed to have overseen the acquisition and distribution of rockets, heavy weapons, assault rifles, explosives and body armor to support insurgent operations throughout Logar province. Prior to his capture, the weapons financier had reportedly purchased multiple missiles to be used in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

During the operation, the security force also detained two other suspected insurgents.


An ISAF and Afghan National Army partnered patrol discovered nearly a dozen improvised explosive devices in a three-hour stretch during an operation in Panjwa'i district, Kandahar province yesterday. The combined force found each of the pressure-plate operated IEDs at a different location along the patrol route. While recovering the IEDs, the partnered force was also engaged by insurgent fire twice, returned fire, and forced the insurgents to break contact. The IEDs, which totaled 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of homemade explosives, were destroyed in place. No ISAF, ANA soldiers or Afghan civilians were wounded during this operation.


Coalition forces have confirmed the deaths of two insurgent leaders targeted in a coalition airstrike Sept. 28 in Shindand district, Herat province.

* Mullah Sultan, a top level Taliban leader, weapons supplier and
member of the Taliban Quetta Shura of Bala Baluk district, is reported to have directed numerous attack against coalition forces, kidnapped Afghan civilians and conducted other criminal activities. Sultan is believed to have facilitated IED attacks and was also known to send insurgent fighters into villages in Farah to intimidate the local population into not supporting the Afghanistan government.

* Mullah Akhtar Mohammad, a Taliban leader in Shindand, Herat, was reportedly involved in the facilitation of suicide bombers and attacks on Afghan and coalition troops in the area. He is also known to have disrupted local elections in the district by intimidating the local population.

The removal of these two insurgent leaders, said a coalition official, will have a major impact on Taliban command and logistics networks in Farah province.

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Oct. 03., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces cleared an improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Oct. 2.

Khowst province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an improvised explosive device in Bak district.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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DOD Identifies Units for Upcoming Afghanistan Rotation

DOD Identifies Units for Upcoming Afghanistan Rotation

            The Department of Defense today identified two major units to deploy as part of the upcoming rotation of forces operating in Afghanistan.  The scheduled rotation involves one armored brigade combat team with roughly 1,390 personnel -- and one combat aviation brigade with roughly 1,700 personnel to rotate in winter 2012.  The deploying units include:

            Brigade Combat Team:

            4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

            Combat Aviation Brigade:

            1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas.

            DoD will continue to announce major deployments as they are approved.  For information on the respective deployments, contact the 1st Cavalry Division public affairs office at 254-287-9400 and the 1st Armored Division public affairs office at 915-744-8406.

Combat Aviation Brigade,1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss
English: 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry ...
English: 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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