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Department of Defence
Media Release


06/05/2009 MECC 148/09




Coalition pressure on the Taliban leadership continues to intensify with the successful targeting of another senior insurgent leader operating in the Oruzgan area.


In a combined coalition operation involving Australian Special Forces troops, Mullah Noorullah and one other insurgent were tracked moving into a tunnel system. They were killed in a targeted operation. There were no civilian casualties resulting from the operation.


Classed as a senior insurgent commander, Noorullah was involved in the use of improvised explosive devices and rocket attacks against coalition forces.


Noorullah was also understood to have been involved in the major battle with Afghan, Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF) and Special Operations Task Group elements on 12 April in which up to four other insurgents were also killed by Australian soldiers.


The latest operation is expected to disrupt the effectiveness of insurgent activity in the Deh Rafshan region for a number of months to come.


The Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Mark Evans said the counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy being employed by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and actioned by Australian and coalition troops in Afghanistan was having a degrading effect on Taliban leadership and their ability to conduct coherent operations.


“Through our operations targeting the Taliban’s leadership and its networks, coalition forces are disrupting the insurgents’ ability to command and control operations,” LTGEN Evans said.


“The result of this constant targeting is that the Taliban are not able to readily coordinate attacks on coalition forces until replacement leaders are recruited and they can rebuild their knowledge and skills.”


LTGEN Evans said that coalition forces needed to continue applying pressure on the Taliban in order to create confidence in Afghan communities that there were viable alternatives to the Taliban.


LTGEN Evans said that while one Taliban leader removed from the insurgency network did not indicate success, it did point to incremental progress



Media note:

Audio grabs of LTGEN Evans are available at


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


Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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