Afghan Army Chases Terrorists, Seizes Weaponry
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 29, 2004 As Afghan national elections near, Afghan National Army and U.S. troops continue to chase down terrorists and capture enemy weaponry.
"The ANA and coalition forces are uncovering a number of weapons caches throughout the country, often with the active support of Afghan citizens," U.S. Army Maj. Scott Nelson noted during a news conference in Kabul today.
For example, Nelson said, a Sept. 27 operation conducted near Herat found a weapons cache containing more than 10,000 mortar rounds. He said other caches recently were found in Oruzgan, Ghanzi, and near Bagram Airfield.
Nelson said he's also pleased with recent Pakistani efforts to disrupt terrorist activities over the border with Afghanistan. He cited a Sept. 27 operation where coalition troops in Afghanistan pursued a group of insurgents heading for the Pakistani border.
"A Pakistani force assisted coalition forces by intercepting these foreign fighters as they fled," Nelson explained, noting such cooperation "continues to disrupt enemy ability to plan and conduct attacks."
Two more Afghan Army regional command centers were opened this week in Mazar-e- Sharif and in Herat, Nelson noted. The two other command centers are in Kandahar and Gardez.
The establishment of more regional Army command centers "marks a milestone in the institutionalization of Afghanistan's security forces and demonstrates the government of Afghanistan's ability to extend its authority throughout the country," Nelson said. The new Afghan National Army, Nelson added, "is a source of pride and stability for the people of Afghanistan."
U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, Nelson said, "are proud of the help we've been able to provide in facilitating the ANA's growth as a symbol of Afghanistan's independence and sovereignty."
Yet as the Oct. 9 Afghan general election approaches, "we expect the enemies of stability in Afghanistan to initiate attacks in a desperate attempt to disrupt this peaceful process," Nelson remarked.
"We are working closely with the International Security and Assistance Force and the government of Afghanistan to ensure that these attacks fail to disrupt the election process," he concluded.