Joint Canadian-Afghan operation leads to 10 arrests and IED seizures

Canadian and Afghan troops have wrapped up a successful five-day military operation in the Panjwaii district without firing a single shot.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Canadian and Afghan troops have wrapped up a successful five-day military operation in the Panjwaii district without firing a single shot.

The operation, which began Monday, involved the 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, along with Afghan security forces near the village of Chalghowr in the Panjwaii district west of Kandahar.

The mission was to push the Taliban out of the area, about nine kilometres from Kandahar city, and to keep it under government control.

“We just completed a small operation in the village of Chalghowr, which has recently seen a rise in insurgent activity, really targeting and terrorizing the local villagers,” said operations officer Maj. Mike Blanchette.

“We detained 10 insurgents, as well as found a number of caches of IED-making material and other sorts of things associated with that. We also found and disabled a number of IEDs that were throughout the village, on the main road and whatnot.”

Despite the number of Taliban in the area, the region was secured without a shot being fired, he added.

“The insurgents, when they move in, really ramped up their regular list of nefarious tricks from intimidation, planting IEDs which has caused — unfortunately — some casualties among the local national population.”

Also involved in the operation was the Afghan National Army’s 2nd Kandak of 1st Brigade, 205 Corp. A number of IED and IED component cases were also found.

“This operation was the latest in a series of ANSF and ISAF operations aimed at providing enduring security in the Panjwaii district,” said Lt.-Col. Conrad Mialkowski, the battle group’s commanding officer.

“We’re continuing to help the Afghan forces improve security so reconstruction and development can occur.”

The Panjwaii district, the birthplace of the Taliban, has continued to remain a hotbed of insurgent activity. The Taliban may be overmatched, but isn’t willing to give up the fight, he added.

“For them, it’s really a demonstration of strength that they are able to do these types of things on the outskirts of Kandahar city, which is part of the prize for them.”

A major military operation, beginning in Kandahar, is expected to be launched later this summer.