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Afghan, Coalition Forces Secure IEDs, Munitions Cache

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2006 – Afghan and coalition forces identified an improvised explosive device attached to a bridge, recovered an IED, and discovered a munitions cache in several operations throughout Afghanistan today, just a day after combined forces detained 10 insurgents.

The local police chief reported several artillery rounds wired beneath a bridge in the Dand district, of Kandahar province, to nearby coalition forces. A coalition explosive ordnance team identified the rounds as a remote-controlled IED and Afghan National Police officers cordoned off the area to protect the safety of citizens.

"The emplacement of improvised explosive devices is a heinous act," said Army Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for the coalition's Combined Joint Task Force 76. "IEDs are dangerous and indiscriminate killers. These devices put the lives of innocent men, women and children at risk."

In the Sharana district of Paktika province, a local resident discovered an IED and reported it to Afghan National Army soldiers. Coalition forces destroyed the IED, which was made up of a propane tank with wires attached and covered by rocks and grass.

A Task Force Spartan element discovered the munitions cache while conducting a combat patrol in the Nirkh district of Wardak province. The cache, which was buried, contained three 107 mm rockets, unexploded ordnance, and fuses. Coalition forces were dispatched to secure the site.

"These caches are deadly, and pose a danger to everyone who lives and works around them," Fitzpatrick said.

Afghan and coalition forces detained 10 insurgents while conducting offensive operations in the Sangin district of Helmand province yesterday. In the course of the combined operations aimed at eradicating enemy forces, insurgents engaged Afghan and coalition forces with small-arms fire. The Afghan and coalition forces returned fire, wounding three militants, and are continuing to search the area for enemy forces. No casualties were reported among the Afghan and coalition forces.

"Through relentless pursuit, we are eliminating terrorists and their networks," said Fitzpatrick said. "Because of the work of Afghan and coalition forces, the areas that terrorists call safe havens grow smaller every day."

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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