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IJC Operational Update, Jan. 19

An Afghan-international security force searched a compound outside the village of Baghak, in the Jeldek District of Zabul province last night and detained a pair of suspected militants while searching for a Taliban IED cell leader. In Ghazni last night, a joint security force searched a compound in a rural area west of the town of Nyazullah, in the Waghaz district. As the joint force entered a building in the compound, an insurgent threw a grenade and the Afghan-international security force returned fire killing an insurgent.

Afghan Security Forces Stabilize Kabul

Afghan national security forces effectively countered an insurgent attack in downtown Kabul today [18 January], and with ISAF support, are securing the area where several explosions and small-arms fire were reported this morning. "Today's attack by the Taliban in Kabul is yet another example of their brutality and contempt for the Afghan people," said Gen. Stanley McChrystal, ISAF commander. "Afghan national security forces effectively dealt with the situation and should be commended.

ISF pursue AQI leader in Mosul, arrest 3 suspects

Iraqi Security Forces arrested three suspected terrorists Saturday during a joint security operation conducted in northeastern Mosul to arrest a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) leader. Acting on a warrant issued by an Iraqi court, ISF and U.S. advisors searched a residential building for a suspected AQI leader believed to be heavily involved in the northern-Iraq extortion network. Preliminary questioning results and evidence collected at the scene led ISF to arrest three suspected criminal associates of the warranted AQI leader without incident.

Bataan, 22nd MEU, Amphibious Ready Group arrive off Haiti Coast

The ships of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and embarked elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived off the coast of Haiti Jan. 19 to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief for earthquake survivors and bolster relief operations already underway in support of Operation Unified Response. MEU and ARG leadership met with Rear Adm. Ted Branch, Commander, USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and his staff on board Vinson to discuss future operations. According to 22nd MEU commanding officer, Col. Gareth F.

Fort Bragg Soldiers continue humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti

As of Monday, Fort Bragg Soldiers have distributed more than 3,600 gallons of bottled water, 14,400 meals, adding to the combined total of 54,738 pounds of supplies and equipment to Haitian citizens in the wake of last week's catastrophic earthquake, which has brought massive destruction and death to the small island country. According to Fort Bragg officials, the post has deployed 896 Soldiers, including those from the XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and other Fort Bragg units that are now attached to the corps.

Yushchenko Apparently Loses Ukrainian Presidency

Exit polls announced within minutes after elections ended in Ukraine indicate the country's current and former prime ministers will emerge from a field of 18 candidates to face one another in a run-off in three weeks.  Incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko appears out of the running with a reported fifth-place finish. An exit poll conducted by Kyiv's Razumkov Center shows Viktor Yanukovych, who was accused of rigging the 2004 election, has garnered more than 31 percent of the vote.  Yulia Tymoshenko, the current head of government, has more than 27 percent, a bit higher than expected.  Incu

Record Ransom Frees Hijacked Tanker off Somali Coast

A record ransom payment has secured the release of a massive oil tanker seized in November by Somali pirates.  Piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia nearly doubled in 2009 from the previous year. The Maran Centaurus was the second-largest vessel ever captured and was carrying an estimated $2 million barrels of oil. The pirates claim they received $5.5 million for the ship's freedom, but a separate figure places the amount dropped on the ship at $7 million.  Both are believed to exceed any previous figure paid to the Somali sea bandits. Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya-based East Africa

Operation Nets 3,500 Pounds of Drugs, Thousands in Cash

An Afghan-ISAF joint operation in the Panjawi district, Kandahar province discovered 3,500 pounds of marijuana and opium as well as about $48,000 (U.S.) (33,000 €) worth of Pakistani Rubies and $4,000 (U.S.) (3,000 €) in Afghan currency. In the course of the operation, a combined air assault and direct fire engagement, 10 insurgents were killed. No innocent Afghan civilians were injured in this operation. The joint force detained five men and protected 10 women. The joint force accounted for the money and turned it over to local authorities. The drugs were destroyed.