Taliban fighters take villages near Kandahar after jailbreak

RackMaster

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This is going to be a big one. Hit those fuckers with every thing we have.

Good luck and stay safe Brothers!



Taliban fighters take villages near Kandahar after jailbreak

NATO and Afghan troops redeploying amid fears of attacks on city

Last Updated: Monday, June 16, 2008 | 10:19 PM ET Comments164Recommend54

CBC News


afghan-prison.jpg

Wrecked vehicles sit outside Kandahar's Sarposa prison, which Taliban militants attacked Friday.
(CBC)

Hundreds of Taliban fighters took over several villages near Kandahar Monday, prompting fears of an attack on the city and the redeployment of NATO and Afghan forces to meet the threat.
Mohammad Farooq, the government leader in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province, said around 500 Taliban fighters moved into his district just past nightfall and were holding at least three villages.
Arghandab lies about 15 kilometres north of Kandahar — the Taliban's former stronghold — and a tribal leader from the region warned that the militants could use the cover from Arghandab's grape and pomegranate orchards to attack the city itself.
"It's quite close to Kandahar," Haji Ikramullah Khan told the Associated Press. "During the Russian war, the Russians didn't even occupy Arghandab because when they fought here [in the 1980s] they suffered big casualties."
Most of Canada's 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan are based at Kandahar Airfield.
The Taliban push into Arghandab comes three days after a sophisticated attack by insurgents on Kandahar's Sarposa prison that freed hundreds of insurgent fighters.
NATO sends troops

NATO spokesman Mark Laity said alliance and Afghan military officials were redeploying troops to the region to "meet any potential threats."
"It's fair to say that the jailbreak has put a lot of people into circulation who weren't there before, and so obviously you're going to respond to that potential threat," he said.
CBC's Paul Hunter, who is covering Canadian operations at the airfield, said fears are growing of a Taliban push into Kandahar city from the captured villages, as the insurgents attempted during a large battle with NATO troops last October.
"At the time, Canadian and U.S. forces said they had won a decisive victory," Hunter said. "It was a crazy battle lasting three or four days. Then it was about 300 Taliban. Now there are 500 and here we go again."
Wali Karzai, president of the Kandahar provincial council and brother of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, raised similar concerns in an interview Monday with the Canadian Press.
"There are also strong rumours that they will attack Kandahar city at certain strategic points. My house, the governor's house [and] the police station," Wali Karzai said.
"Whenever they get close to Kandahar city, there could be problems. Every one in Kabul is very much concerned," said Karzai.
Tribesmen back Karzai

Also on Monday, hundreds of Afghan tribesmen, elders and clerics gathered in the east of the country in support of President Hamid Karzai's threat to send troops after Taliban militants inside Pakistan, officials said.
Pakistan has reacted strongly to the Afghan president's words, with Afghanistan's envoy in Islamabad summoned to the Pakistani foreign ministry on Monday to provide an explanation of Karzai's statement.
Ghami Mohammad Yar, spokesman for the governor of Paktika province, which borders Pakistan, said several hundred tribesmen had come to the governor's compound to express support for Karzai.
"We are ready to sacrifice, as before, for the protection of our homeland borders," Yar said. Mohammad Akram Akhpelwak, Paktika's governor, said gatherings of support were being held in three other areas of Paktika.
Speaking Sunday in Kabul, Karzai threatened to send Afghan troops to fight notorious Taliban leaders inside Pakistan in an angry warning that he will no longer tolerate cross-border attacks.
The threat — the first time Karzai has said he would send forces into Pakistan — was apparently in response to the Sarposa prison break.
Bush offers U.S. help

Karzai has long pleaded with Pakistan and the international community to do more to establish order in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border, which have become safe havens for Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammed Sadiq, said Monday his office would issue a formal response to Karzai.



"Naturally, we think that he did not use his best judgment by making this statement," he said.
U.S. president George W. Bush offered his country's help to calm tensions along the Afghan-Pakistan border but he also expressed support for Karzai's focus on shutting down tribal safe havens on the frontier.
"That's the policy of Afghanistan, it needs to be the policy of Pakistan," Bush said Monday after talks with British prime minister, Gordon Brown in London.
American troops could help ease the "testy situation," Bush said.
CBC's Hunter says most Afghans support their president's attempt to highlight widespread local beliefs that Taliban militants base themselves in Pakistan and launch cross-border raids, but they aren't be sure that their country can back up Karzai's threats with action.
Roland Paris, an Afghan analyst with the University of Ottawa says the latest developments underline NATO, Afghan and U.S. calls for more control over Pakistani border territory and more action against militants based there.
"It's a porous border, and it's always been a porous border," Paris told CBC News. "And that makes it all the more important to address some of these problems that are inside Pakistan itself, most notably the fact that the Taliban and related forces are primarily based inside Pakistan."
NATO leaders feel Pakistan hasn't been doing enough to address this, Paris says.
Pakistan's new government has recently signed ceasefire agreements with border-based militants to control Taliban violence on its own territory.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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I'm starting to wonder if the lull in IDF over the last few weeks is due to the prison attack. We've had good visibility from the moon in the last week (traditionally a time when they like to lob rockets at us) and it is quiet.

It makes me nervous.

The district they've occupied is going to be a tough nut to crack; lots of cover and concealment for the Taliban. Historically this is a place where gov't troops do not go.
 

RackMaster

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Hopefully they let some of the locals leave the area before the heavy fighting starts, otherwise there will be a lot of serious innocent casualties. A situation like this, it might be better just to write off the village; offer to rebuild it and bomb the fuck out of it. Then move in as per to clean up.
 

Typhoon

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The prison break could be just the opening kickoff...Just in time for the strawberry moon, too. Stay safe, FF.
 

RackMaster

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And now our Government's opposition parties feel the need to drag up reports stating that we should have rebuilt the prison to protect it from an exploding fuel truck. :rolleyes: Idiots. I guess we'll have to hand over the cash to rebuild it now.

Defence officials warned of weak walls at Afghan prison 2 years ago

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | 6:03 PM ET Comments11Recommend6

The Canadian Press


Canadian military officials warned more than two years ago that the stone-and-mortar walls of Kandahar's largest prison were on the verge of collapse, newly released documents show.
Defence experts now say the walls' dilapidated state likely made them more susceptible to an insurgent attack of the kind that occurred last Friday.
The brazen prison break, in which militants used explosives and rockets to blow open the walls of Sarposa prison, about 30 kilometres from the main NATO base at Kandahar Airfield, released hundreds of common criminals and Taliban militants onto the streets.
Defence Department briefing notes released under the Access to Information Act show the military red-flagged Sarposa's crumbling walls as far back as January 2006.
Military officials found the 35-year-old structure — a mix of bricks made from compressed earth and local stone, held together by concrete or mud parging — in dire need of repair.
"Due to the lack of maintenance, both the ceilings and the walls have deteriorated to a point where there is a possibility that they may collapse," says a Jan. 12, 2006, briefing note.
Opposition MPs have held up a 2007 Correctional Service of Canada report on Sarposa prison as proof the Conservative government knew about deficiencies at the jail but turned a blind eye.
The Defence Department briefing notes show the government knew of structural problems more than a year before the corrections officers' report, but deemed repairs unnecessary at the time.
"The structural issues are not of an urgent nature and can be delayed for a period of up to two years."
The Defence Department and the Correctional Service of Canada both declined comment.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay bristled Tuesday in the House of Commons at an opposition MP's suggestion that thicker walls could have better withstood the blast.
"Mr. Speaker, with respect, I do not think the honourable member is somehow suggesting that a suicide bomb attack, where explosives were placed on a fuel truck, could have been prevented in any way by having a thicker wall at the prison," he said.
Last week's attack began when a tanker truck full of explosives detonated at the prison's main gate, killing the police officers stationed at the outpost. Shortly afterward, a suicide bomber on foot blasted a hole in the wall at the back of the prison, and several hundred inmates escaped.
MacKay added that Canada has helped Afghan authorities build a wall of watch towers as part of the $1.5 million announced last fall for projects at Sarposa prison and another detention facility in Kandahar.
Brian MacDonald, senior analyst with the Conference of Defence Associations, said it's likely the state of the prison walls made it easier for insurgents to blast through them.
"If they had not been fixed and if they continued [with] another two years of deterioration, it's entirely possible that the condition of the walls facilitated being able to blow a hole in it," he said.
Security expert Wesley Wark agreed.
"It probably makes things easier to blow the wall down, and, certainly, the Taliban was very successful in doing that," he said.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Idiots...Sarposa was never intended to be a prison. It was an ad hoc arrangement until a purpose-built compound could be constructed.

I could probably take a tanker full of explosives and crack open a Supermax prison, much less mud walls.....
 
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