News: Afghan, international forces disrupt Haqqani and Taliban networks
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan and international security forces killed a large number of insurgents, including several key leaders for both the Haqqani network and Taliban, during an offensive operation in Jani Khel District of Paktiya province earlier this week.
The security force killed Hamiddullah, a Haqqani network commander for Sabari District in Khost province, who had direct ties to Haqqani senior leadership based in Pakistan. He was reportedly responsible for an ambush of an Afghan National Army unit which killed three Afghan national police in March.
According to intelligence information and local police, news of Hamiddullah's death, who was well-known throughout the Haqqani network, is expected to have significant disruptive effects on the network throughout Khost and Paktiya provinces.
Earlier this month, Afghan and international forces killed a number of Haqqani network fighters including another Haqqani commander, Fazil Subhan, in Khost province.
In the recent two-day offensive operation on the largest insurgent camp in the area, assault forces also killed Qari Ismael, a Taliban leader for Jani Khel District, and Maulawi Sadiq, a known facilitator for foreign fighters.
"[Afghan National Security Forces] along with international security forces conducted two days [of] offensive operations in Jani Khel District of Paktya province. [Multiple] insurgents were killed, large amounts of ammo and weapons were discovered and many training camps were destroyed. ANSF conducted [the] operations to let people continue their lives in peace," said Khost District Chief of Police, Brig. Gen. Nawab Khan.
Residents who were often threatened by the insurgents also joined the fight, and according to National Directorate of Security and ANA officials the residents were pleased with the operations. When Haqqani network fighters attempted to retreat from Jani Khel to Musa Khel, a neighboring district in Khost, villagers from Kotkai prevented the foreign fighters from moving through their village.
After the fighting stopped, officials and village elders reported that a large number of foreign fighters, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Turks and Chechens, were among those killed. Afghan and coalition forces also found dozens of automatic weapons, multiple rocket-propelled grenade launchers and rounds, and communication equipment.
"These foreign fighters abuse the poor, uneducated people," said ANSF Soldier Said Karim. "They don't care about Afghanistan; they don't care about our people."
The Haqqani network is attempting to establish strongholds in the Khost-Gardez Pass in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Paktiya and Khost provinces. Large numbers of foreign fighters remain interspersed in the ranks of the Taliban and Haqqani networks, and the area is used by insurgent groups to move supplies and foreign fighters into Afghanistan from Pakistan.
No coalition forces were injured or killed despite engagement by heavily-armed insurgents on four different occasions throughout the operation.