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Taliban Members Detained; New Cadets Begin Training

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2006 – Afghan National Police and coalition forces detained four members of the Taliban in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, Feb. 5, officials reported today.

The detainees were transported to the Ghazni detention center for questioning, a coalition leader said.

"This was a joint operation between the ANP, coalition forces and the Afghan people," said Army Col. Pat Donahue, commander of coalition forces in the country's eastern region. "We were able to apprehend these four based on information given to us from the provincial coordination center in Ghazni."

The center in Ghazni proved to be even more valuable than anticipated. Ghazni Gov. Sher Alam shared information from the center about the suspected movements of Taliban members in Pana village, Andar District, leading to their apprehension.

It's important for Afghan and coalition forces to continue to emphasize their need to work with villagers, Alam said.

The coalition's two operational regions, Regional Command East and Regional Command South, each have several control centers. Commanders plan to build one control center in every major city, coalition officials said.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, more than 200 men from across the country arrived at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan on Jan. 21 to form the school's second cadet class in as many years.

The 250 candidates, aged 18-23, will also earn commissions as second lieutenants in the Afghan National Army and be obligated to the army for 10 years. The academy's commander of cadets, ANA Brig. Gen. Hasamuddin, called them the best and brightest Afghanistan has to offer.

They will undergo seven weeks of basic combat training and then will move on to academics and military topics.

"This school brings together young men from every province and allows them to build bonds and work alongside each other toward a common goal," said ANA Col. Hamdullah Yousfzai, the academy's dean. "This is important for the future of this army and this nation."

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Bates contributed to this report.)

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