Tag Archives: Ghazni province

Poles arrest Taliban leader in Afghanistan

The Andar district in Ghazni province is just to the Southeast of Ghazni city, and as I posted yesterday, the American battalion which arrived in the fall has been operating here. However, it appears the Poles are working either in conjunction or at least simultaneously in the region, as they just captured a Taliban leader here:

Polish soldiers have detained one of the most important Taliban leaders during a night raid in a remote village in the Andar district.

Sana Mohammad, who was arrested in the Afghan province of Ghazni, was on NATO’s list of most-wanted terrorists. News of the action was released by Poland’s HQ in Afghanistan.

The arrest occurred four days ago in one of the villages in the Andar district. In the middle of the night, Polish and Afghan commandos surrounded the house where the Taliban leader was hiding.

Besides arresting Sana Mohammad, the detachment also managed to detain a local leader of the Taliban. The action was reportedly completed during very difficult conditions, in the midst of a snowstorm.

Full report from thenews.pl here.

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Ghazni’s shadow government

The New York Times currently has a reporter embedded with the American battalion that entered Ghazni in late fall of last year. The Americans are operating mostly in Andar and Dih Yah districts, in the Eastern part of the province.

It’s a story worth reading to learn more about what the situation in Ghazni is really like:

February 6, 2011
In Eastern Afghanistan, at War With the Taliban’s Shadowy Rule
By C. J. CHIVERS

The picture is of an underground government by local fighters, organized under the Taliban’s banner, who have established the rudiments of a civilian administration to complement their shadowy combat force. They run schools, collect taxes and adjudicate civil disputes in Islamic courts. And when they fight, their gunmen and bomb makers are aided by an intelligence and support network that includes villagers, who signal for them and provide them shelter, and tunnels in which to elude capture or find medical care.

As part of the Obama administration’s campaign to subdue a sprawling insurgency and create a durable Afghan government, the military sent thousands of soldiers last year into rural areas under the influence, if not outright control, of the Taliban. One of those task forces, the Third Battalion of the 187th Infantry Regiment, arrived in Miri in September to help establish a government presence in a place — though it is the official seat of the Ghazni Province’s Andar District — where government had been sporadic for a decade.

Almost five months later — through prisoner interrogations, informants’ reports, intercepted radio chatter, surveillance of fighters’ funerals, Taliban documents, nearly 200 gunfights, and captured photographs, equipment and bombs — the Americans have assembled an expanding portrait of how the latter-day Taliban functions here.

The analysis outlines two distinct elements of Taliban structure: — a quasi government and the military arm that empowers it.

On one level, the Taliban has firmly re-established its hold over civilian life in rural Ghazni. Even with an American battalion patrolling Andar and the neighboring Deh Yak District each day, the Taliban runs 28 known schools; circulates public statements by leaflets at night; adjudicates land, water-rights and property disputes through religious courts; levies taxes on residents; and punishes Afghans labeled as collaborators.

Read the rest at the NYTimes, here.

NYTimes slideshow on Americans in Ghazni, here.