Oklahoma Soldiers Capture Insurgent Leader in Laghman Province

Wednesday, November 9th 2011, 9:59 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma National Guardsmen along with Afghan and Coalition forces were recently involved with the capture of Bari Ali, a mid-level insurgent leader. The military made the official announcement of the capture on Sunday.

Task Force Thunderbird, a specially trained U.S. and Afghan National Army platoon, was conducting raids to kill or capture high value individuals and targets, when Bari-Ali was taken.

"This group of specially trained Soldiers were brought together to thwart out insurgents in villages throughout Laghman province," said U.S. Army Col. Joel P. Ward, commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. "This opportunity to work with the ANA builds on their capacity to provide long-term security capabilities."

The Afghan National Army used loudspeakers and a pre-written script to call out Ali in an effort to have him surrender to coalition forces willingly.

Ali and two other individuals, one of which was identified as his brother, Roshan Zilmai, surrendered to coalition forces without incident. The three were detained by Coalition forces and transported to a nearby facility for further questioning.

The capture of Ali is expected to sever the lines of communication between some mid-level and low-level insurgents.

Task Force Thunderbird and the Afghan National Army confiscated weapons, hand grenades, tactical fighting gear and multiple cell phones during the search.

The operation ended with no injuries or casualties to Coalition forces and civilians and no damage to equipment.