Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aussies capture Taliban leader

Way to go, Diggers!

Afghan "Shadow Governor" in charge of bomb-making caught by surprise. Hah-hah. Now, he's cooling his heels in a Dutch detention facility where hopefully, they have thrown away the key.

The Defence Department announced yesterday that Australian troops from the Special Operations Task Group had captured senior Taliban militant Mullah Bari Ghul in an operation last week.

Bari Ghul was known as the shadow governor of Oruzgan province, a reference used by the Taliban to describe his status as the head of its underground operations in the southern province of Afghanistan.

Defence spokesman Brian Dawson said Bari Ghul was responsible for a "campaign of intimidation and violence" against the province's population. Bari Ghul is alleged to have co-ordinated numerous attacks on both Afghan and international troops and facilitated the flow of money, equipment and foreign fighters into Afghanistan.

In particular, he is said to have green-lighted most of the improvised explosive device attacks across Oruzgan, such as those that killed Diggers Sean McCarthy and David Pearce.

"Mullah Bari Ghul was directly responsible for the importation of componentry, the provision of specialists in the construction of IEDs and authorising their emplacement across the province," the brigadier said.

After McCarthy's death, Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said Australian forces would target the bomb-makers.

"We need to go to the facilities where these devices are constructed -- you could call them IED factories -- and we need to go after the people who are putting them together, and that's precisely what we've been doing," Air Chief Marshal Houston said.

God bless our best ally, Australia!