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Coalition Delivers Food, Supplies to Afghans

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2005 – Coalition soldiers are assisting relief agencies in Afghanistan, delivering food and supplies to help Afghan citizens in remote villages through one of the country's harshest winters in recent history, a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan spokesman said today.

During a briefing from Kabul, Army Maj. Steven Wollman said soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division (Light), in a military operation dubbed "Operation Bear's Paw," have been distributing food provided by the World Food Program to citizens of Zabol province.

He said soldiers have been using military vehicles to deliver tons of food, and that when roads are blocked by snow and ice, are using CH-47 helicopters to move food and supplies to stranded villagers.

The coalition has coordinated with the World Food Program to airdrop food and other aid in Ghor province beginning next week, he added.

Wollman said the coalition will "continue to coordinate with governmental officials and international relief organizations to help the people of Afghanistan through the winter."

During the briefing, Wollman also reported that progress is being made daily to rid the countryside of illegal weapons.

During the past week, he said, eight weapons caches were discovered -- two by the Afghan National Army and two more by coalition forces. Four caches were turned over by local Afghan citizens, he said.

One of the caches found by an Afghan patrol in Herat province contained three trucks containing rockets, mortars, and small-arms ammunition.

Another weapons stockpile turned in by a local citizen in Helmand province contained 97 82 mm mortar rounds, 76 anti-personnel mines, 24 rocket-propelled grenades and thousands of rounds of small-arms ammunition.

Wollman said all of the ammunition and weapons discovered were either destroyed or secured for use by the Afghan National Army.

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