Subscribe Twitter

Friday, February 8, 2008

Detained Taliban commander identified; France grows some balls.

Shah Noor of Highway 1 attacks captured

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces in Afghanistan have positively identified a Taliban commander, detained during a Jan. 1 joint operation in Zabul Province, as Shah Noor. Noor, who also is known as Agha Jan, is assessed to be a Taliban commander responsible for conducting attacks against Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition forces along Highway 1 as well as being the commander for a number of Taliban fighters. Noor is also responsible for planting improvised-explosive devices in several areas including the Shajoy district, where he was detained by Afghan National Security and Colaition forces. “The detention of Agha Jan [Noor] has severed an important link in the insurgent network,” said Army Capt. Vanessa Bowman, a Coalition spokeswoman. “With every insurgent leader, facilitator or fighter that is removed from the network, the future of a stable, thriving and peaceful Afghanistan becomes more attainable.”

France may send more troops to Afghanistan

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Thursday it was considering sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Asked whether France intended to increase the size of its contribution, Sarkozy's spokesman David Martinon said: "These are issues that are being examined. To my knowledge no decision has been reached yet."

Washington is heading a campaign for what it calls a fairer sharing of the burden in the fight against Taliban insurgents. Britain, Canada, Poland and others have added their voices before NATO talks in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in December Paris could boost its presence in Afghanistan, where it has around 1,900 troops, most of them stationed in the relatively secure area of the capital, Kabul.

Newspaper Le Monde reported in its Saturday edition that France could call up a battalion of paratroopers, roughly 700 men, that it has in NATO's strategic reserve force.

Germany said on Wednesday it would send around 200 troops to northern Afghanistan as part of a NATO quick reaction force but would not move forces to the more violent south.