Sun, September 16, 2012
World > Middle East

Taliban leader who downs U.S. helicopter detained: ISAF

2012-09-16 06:03:39 GMT2012-09-16 14:03:39(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

KABUL, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Afghan forces and the NATO-led coalition troops detained a Taliban leader who was responsible for shooting down a U.S. helicopter killing two U.S. service members earlier this month, the coalition forces said Sunday.

"An Afghan and coalition security force today arrested the Taliban leader responsible for the death of two American service members following a Sept. 5 helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan," the NATO-led coalition or ISAF said in a statement.

No civilians were harmed during the operation, the statement added.

The Taliban leader and his insurgent cell coordinated the attack that downed an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, killing both service members aboard, it said, adding that the security force also detained one suspected insurgent and seized improvised explosive device components and Taliban-associated materials during this operation.

Up to 10 NATO and U.S. helicopters had gone down since beginning this year, leaving three dozens coalition soldiers and eight Afghans dead.

The Taliban insurgents, who have been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, have yet to confirm the arrest of the insurgent commander.

In another development, Afghan army soldiers carried out an operation, killing eight militants including two Pakistani nationals in Nirkh district of eastern Wardak province overnight, a provincial spokesman told Xinhua on Sunday.

"The dead militants were responsible for several attacks against security forces and kidnapping of civilians in Wardak. Five other militants were detained in the province 35 km west of Kabul," spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.

Militants killed and beheaded over two dozens of civilians in Wardak province over the past couple of weeks.

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