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IED Maker Captured in Afghanistan; Air Support Targets Insurgents

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2006 – Coalition forces in Afghanistan captured an insurgent suspected of building roadside bombs yesterday and engaged a group of enemy fighters on June 2, military officials reported.

In the Gumbad area of the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province yesterday, a coalition patrol acted on an Afghan citizen's tip that a roadside bomb was being placed near a building. The patrol searched the area and discovered a cave. Inside, they found an extremist with bomb-making materials.

During initial questioning, the insurgent revealed the locations of other improvised explosive devices in the area, allowing coalition patrols to secure the weapons and destroy the cave. The insurgent was turned over to Afghan National Army officials.

"Afghan and coalition forces have captured three suspected IED cells this week, mostly on tips from Afghans who just want peace and security in their regions," said Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "It's clear most Afghans want an end to the violence and support the government's authority by their willingness to turn in IEDs and those extremists who build them."

In a separate incident yesterday, Afghan police in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province found a roadside bomb. A coalition explosive ordnance disposal team secured and removed the weapon.

In the Tere Zayi district of Khost, a coalition vehicle received only minor damage when insurgents triggered a roadside bomb as the vehicle passed by. Coalition forces and an explosive ordnance disposal team searched the area to ensure no other bombs remained that could endanger innocent civilians.

Also in the Tere Zayi District, Afghan civilians turned in a weapons cache to coalition authorities. The cache included about 500 rifle rounds, two mortar rounds, an unidentified shell and a grenade body. A coalition explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the munitions.

Local civilians in the Sarobi district of Kabul province led a coalition patrol to compounds where they discovered grenades and machine-gun ammunition. The patrol engaged five insurgents near the compound while searching the area.

After the insurgents retreated, the patrol continued their search of the compounds and detained one man for questioning. No coalition or civilian injuries were reported.

"Afghans continue to demonstrate a vested interest in their own security, furthering peace and development around the country," Fitzpatrick said.

On June 2, Afghan National Army and coalition forces engaged a group of enemy extremists near a known enemy bunker and arsenal inside a cave near Musa Qaleh in Helmand province. The enemy fighters were loading munitions into a truck from a cave when coalition forces attacked with precision close-air support. Three precision-guided bombs "were effectively delivered on enemy positions," officials said in a statement. No assessment of enemy casualties was available.

"There are known Taliban extremists in the Musa Qaleh district, and the Afghan National Army and coalition forces will continue to attack these enemies until the district and province are safe and secure," Fitzpatrick said. "We will not be deterred from our mission to provide a safe and secure environment to the Afghan people."

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Forces Command Afghanistan
Combined Joint Task Force 76

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