Senior Taliban Insurgent Commander Killed

MSPA 015/09 

Sunday, 11 January 2009

 The Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) has killed a senior insurgent commander during a recent operation in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

Mullah Abdul Rasheed was involved with the importation of foreign fighters, IED experts and potential suicide bombers. He had been identified as a primary IED facilitator, responsible for coordinating IED emplacement in Oruzgan province.

The laying of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) was a preferred tactic of Rasheed.

Rasheed was a senior commander in the Baluchi Valley and was believed to be responsible for Taliban operations in the area resulting in the deaths of Coalition Force members and Afghan civilians in recent months.

He is also believed to have been the organiser of the rocket attack that killed Private Gregory Sher last weekend.

Following receipt of all necessary ISAF approvals, SOTG ordered the attack.

“The death of Mullah Abdul Rasheed is a significant achievement for the Special Operations Task Group,” said Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans.

“Together with ISAF Forces and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, we have significantly disrupted insurgent operations in Oruzgan province.”

Lieutenant General Evans also addressed what has been called Op Plan 2012.

“Let me make this point clear – there is no timeline for the withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan. That is a matter for the Australian Government to decide,” Lieutenant General Evans said.

 “Op Plan 2012 is a tactical planning document that allows the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to set benchmarks for the conduct of its operations in Afghanistan. This document was designed to achieve a synergy between ADF operations and the International Security Assistance Force operations (ISAF) in Afghanistan.”

Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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