Afghan and Australian Troops Continue Pressure on Insurgency - One Australian Soldier Wounded
29 March 2012
The Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) and Australian Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) partnered operations continue to successfully disrupt insurgent networks and improve the security situation across southern Afghanistan.
Recent operations have destroyed two drug labs in north western Kandahar Province, captured a Taliban commander in Uruzgan and captured a local insurgent commander believed to be operating across Deh Rafshan district in Uruzgan.
In late March 2012 a partnered operation seized 50 kilograms of hashish, 280 kilograms of poppy seed, 105 kilograms of morphine base and 25 litres of morphine solution with an estimated Afghan street value of more than $US170 000.
During the drug operation, the partnered force was engaged by insurgents. One SOTG soldier was wounded by insurgent small arms fire.
The soldier received immediate medical treatment and was evacuated by helicopter to an International Security Assistance Force base where he is in a satisfactory condition.
Lieutenant Colonel J said, “The soldier is resting comfortably in hospital. He’s in a stable condition and was able to speak to his family in Australia by telephone.”
Defence’s immediate priority is to provide support to the family of the wounded soldier and no further information will be made available at this time.
The narcotics seized during the drug operation were later destroyed by the Afghan National Interdiction Unit and US Drug Enforcement Administration.
SOTG Commander Lieutenant Colonel J said, “This is a significant blow to the insurgency as it will limit their ability to launch attacks on coalition forces in Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces”.
Also in March 2012, a partnered operation captured an insurgent commander for the Mirabad district of Uruzgan province. He is believed to be responsible for several Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks and for authorising attacks on ANSF and international partners.
In February 2012, a partnered operation captured an active commander in the Deh Rafshan district of Uruzgan. He is believed to be a direct subordinate of a senior insurgent leader, to have directed local level insurgent operations and IED attacks on international partners and was known to be a weapons dealer.
Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East, Major General Stuart Smith, said capturing these insurgents and destroying the narcotics would degrade the insurgency.
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