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Clearing operations result in nine insurgent deaths and discovery of caches

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Members of the 1st Commando Kandak conducted clearing operations in Shalay Valley, Khas Konar District, which led to the deaths of nine insurgents and the discovery of a weapons cache in, June 23.

The commando-led operation was designed to neutralize the insurgents’ ability to operate freely in the valley and allow military forces to focus on governance and development, increasing the stability of the villages in the valley.

During the operations, they observed a group of insurgents moving along a goat path in the vicinity of their location. The commandos positively identified the men carrying backpacks, one of whom was carrying a machine gun. The commandos stated they believed the insurgents’ movement was an attempt to reposition and flank the security force.

During the engagement, the insurgents fired a rocket propelled grenade, which impacted on mountain terrain in the vicinity. The commandos also observed a secondary explosion. An air strike was requested, which resulted in the deaths of the nine insurgents.

After the engagement, an air support team conducted a battle damage assessment due to the terrain. The insurgents were found to be wearing chest racks used to carry ammunition.

The commandos then continued with the clearing operations, which resulted in the discovery of multiple caches. They contained chest racks, suspected homemade explosive device materials, three mortar rounds wrapped with detonation cord, one anti-tank round, two 82 mm mortar rounds, copper wire, detonation cord, an 82 mm mortar tube and base plate, a tripod and multiple bags of loose and linked ammunition.

No civilian causalities or property damage were reported.

Article by Sgt. Lizette Hart, 19th Public Affairs Detachment