Taliban commander captured in clinic

NY Times:

Afghan security forces raided a medical clinic in eastern Afghanistan late Wednesday, capturing a Taliban commander who had been wounded in attacks during last week’s presidential election, Afghan officials said.

During the operation, which took place in the Sar Hawza district of Paktika Province, Afghan forces came under fire and called for assistance from American air and ground forces, said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a NATO spokeswoman. After clearing the building of civilians, an American Apache helicopter fired on the clinic, ending the battle, the spokeswoman said.

“Once the troops were fired on from the clinic, it loses its protected status” as a civilian location where international forces may not fire, she said. “In addition, we made sure the building was cleared of civilians, and there were no civilian deaths.”

The commander, Mullah Muslim, had been wounded in a firefight on election day.


Afghan officials said that one civilian — the watchman for the building — was wounded. In addition to Mullah Muslim, 5 other insurgents were captured, and 12 were killed, the office of the governor of Paktika said in a statement.

That is a pretty descriptive name for a Taliban leader. The story does not indicate how many militants the Mullah led. It also does not indicate how we learned he was in the clinic other than being fired on.

I guess the Taliban are that stupid on occasion although many in the military and the media have been trying to build them up as an intelligent enemy. Perhaps since they do not follow the rules of war they just assume that no one else does either. But if they had not fired on the patrol it is unlikely that Mullah Muslim would have been noticed.


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