Taliban Leader Set For Spring Offensive In Southern Afghanistan Arrested

A Taliban leader who recently returned to southern Afghanistan with numerous insurgent fighters for the Taliban spring offensive has been captured in a joint operation by Afghan and coalition security forces.

He was also the senior Taliban insurgent operating in Panjwa'i district of Kandahar province, and directed roadside bombings, suicide attacks and other operations against Afghan and coalition security forces.

Multiple additional insurgents were detained and more than 700 rounds of ammunition were seized in the operation on Thursday, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

Several suspected insurgents were arrested in operations in search of Taliban leaders in Nad 'Ali district of Helmand province, Arghandab district in Kandahar province, and Wali Muhammad Shahid Khugyani district in Ghazni province.

A Haqqani facilitator who supplied weapons, ammunition, rockets and explosives to insurgents for attacks against Afghan and coalition troops throughout Sabari district, Khost province, was detained by Afghan and coalition security forces during another operation on Thursday.

A Taliban leader, who was an explosives expert, constructed and directed the use of improvised explosive devices in attacks against coalition forces, was detained by Afghan and coalition security forces in Murghab district, Badghis province. He also supervised Taliban informants throughout the region. He was in the process of acquiring more powerful explosives for large-scale IED attacks throughout Badghis province, ISAF said.

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