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Special Forces Target Taliban Extremist Commander

Australian Special Forces Successfully Target Taliban Extremist Commander

Department of Defence Media Mail List

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A senior provincial Taliban extremist commander who coordinated attacks against Government facilities in Oruzgan was killed in a Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) operation on the 12th August 2008.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammed and his armed protection party were observed by SOTG troops in a remote area of Oruzgan province last Tuesday morning.

Defence spokesperson Brigadier Brian Dawson said the SOTG patrol maintained observation of the Taliban extremist commander and called for an ISAF airstrike when it was confirmed that there were no Afghan non-combatants in the area.

“Australian Special Forces observed the airstrike which struck the Taliban extremist group killing Mullah Akhtar Mohammed,” Brigadier Dawson said.

“The SOTG troops extracted from the area without further incident following the operation.”

Mullah Akhtar Mohammed was a known improvised explosive device (IED) facilitator and had recently equipped several suicide bombers who had struck civilian and security facilities in Oruzgan.

“Mullah Akhtar Mohammed was a senior Taliban extremist commander within Oruzgan province who controlled a large force of insurgents and directed a strong campaign of intimidation and violence within his area of responsibility.”

Brigadier Dawson said the operation was, in many respects, as difficult as the recent SOTG capture of Mullah Bari Ghul.

“It occurred in broad daylight making concealment of the patrol difficult, it was in an extremely remote area of the province and Mullah Akhtar Mohammed was difficult to pinpoint as he travelled within a very small group.

“Importantly, the SOTG located him, positively identified him and when it was confirmed that there were no non-combatants Afghans nearby, accurately targeted him for the successful ISAF airstrike.”

Further details of the ADF commitment to Afghanistan can be found at: http://www.defence.gov.au/opslipper/default.htm


Media Note:

The SOTG is continuing its operations to disrupt the Taliban extremist command and control network in Oruzgan province. As these operations are ongoing, no specific details of the operation to target Mullah Akhtar Mohammed will be released.


ENDS

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