Key figures for al-Qaida arrested
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 9:30 pm
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. and Afghan forces stepped up operations against a Taliban faction linked to al-Qaida, arresting several key figures in the network in raids in two eastern provinces, NATO reported today.
In the south, a member of the international coalition died today after an insurgent attack. NATO did not disclose the service member’s nationality or details about the death.
A raid Thursday in the Manduzai district of Khost province led to the capture of a deputy commander of the Haqqani group who had been supplying weapons to other members of the network, NATO said in a statement. The commander was not identified but the statement said he was among “several” Haqqani group members rounded up in the raid.
Another Haqqani weapons supplier, who also was not named, was picked up Wednesday in Paktiya province, NATO said. It said he had been involved in smuggling weapons, ammunition and bomb materials from Pakistan to fighters in Afghanistan.
The U.S. considers the Haqqani group, led by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin, as one of the most dangerous Taliban groups because of its links to al-Qaida.
The group is suspected of playing a major role in the Dec. 30 bombing of a CIA base in Khost as well as a series of attacks in the capital of Kabul. It is based in the western border area of Pakistan, where U.S. forces cannot operate on the ground.
So far Pakistani authorities have resisted U.S. calls to launch a ground operation against the Haqqani network, saying its forces are overstretched fighting the Pakistani Taliban and other militants that have staged attacks inside Pakistan.
Published in The Messenger 8.13.10