Kabul: In a joint security operation in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, Afghan and coalition forces have captured a Taliban intelligence operative, who scouted targets and attack sites for suicide bombers based in Pakistan.
“Forces continued efforts to deny sanctuary to terrorists as they successfully conducted the operation, targeting the facilitator who operates out of Kandahar City,” said an ISAF press release.
“The targeted individual is an intelligence operative responsible for providing direction in the form of site selection and target sets for the suicide bombers who reportedly came into the city from Chaman, Pakistan,” it added.
According to the press release, the facilitator “additionally provides support to Taliban operations including recruitment and improvised explosive device facilitation”, and is “closely associated with senior facilitators and has connections within the Dand and Panjwa’i districts’ Taliban networks.”
The Taliban`s reliance on Pakistan as a safe haven was laid bare when in a December 15 interview, Colonel Jeffrey Martindale, commander of Task Force Raider and the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, which has responsibility for the Kandahar and Arghandab districts, said that havens across the border in Pakistan pose severe problems for forces in Kandahar.
“We do know that the leadership for the Taliban that are operating within my area are directed from leadership that are in Pakistan,” Bloomberg News quoted Colonel Martindale, as telling reporters at the Pentagon via video conference from Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar City.
“We know that some of the leaders now have gone back, and they have sanctuary there,” he added.