The 21st Century Phenomenon








An Afghan National Army – ANA operation – initially run independently of NATO-ISAF – in the eastern province of Laghman, Between Kabul the Capital and Kunar Province, went “disastrously wrong”, officials said on Thursday 08/12/2010 (see also – Mehterlam 09.02.09).


They say that what should have been a routine “mopping up” operation turned into a “major confrontation” after the Taliban launched an ambush. At least seven Afghan soldiers had been killed and 14 injured. But the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, on Thursday, spoke of a far more devastating toll. He said the militants’ ambush killed 27 Afghan soldiers, wounded 14 and led to the capture of 8, while 18 army vehicles and 6 tanks were seized.


They say that NATO troops and air support have now joined the fighting. Officials said that the ambush took place Bad Pakh valley, close to the border with Nuristan and Kunar provinces, after the ANA sent a battalion of about 300 men last week to flush the Taliban out of a rugged area. The ferocity of the ambush was made worse by bad weather, which meant that the attacked soldiers could not call on air support, officials said.


Officials say that while troops were caught by surprise in the Taliban ambush, they have now fought back and inflicted heavy casualties on the insurgents over the last few days.


It is yet unclear why the Afghan National Army (ANA) went into a remote and mountainous area – known to be Taliban and Al Qaeda strongholds – initially without NATO support.


The ANA now has over 130,000 soldiers, and both its commanders and NATO leaders have said that it is increasingly able to operate independently of coalition forces (see also – Petraeus Mission).


Afghan defence ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi told the BBC that ANA operations like the one in Laghman routinely take place ahead of parliamentary elections. “But there were some tactical mistakes,” he said, “and the weather was also a problem.” Gen Azimi claimed that both the Taliban commander responsible for the attack and his deputy were killed – along with 10 other insurgents, including six foreign fighters.


A defence ministry spokesman said that while some soldiers were still missing, officials have been in contact with them “and we are closing in on the area to get them back”.



* Related topics – 



Read more


Please Share...