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Coalition Secures Afghan Weapons Caches, Renders Aid

By Samantha Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2005 – In the last 13 days, coalition forces have discovered 33 weapons caches throughout Afghanistan, said Maj. Steve Wollman, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan spokesman, today.

"Local officials and security forces aided in the discovery of three of the caches, and local citizens assisted with the discovery of nine (caches)," Wollman said during a press conference in the country's capital of Kabul.

He said the caches included 41 mortar rounds, 144 recoilless rifle rounds, and eight rocket-propelled grenade rounds in Uruzgan province, as well as 56 mortar rounds, 82 tank rounds and 100 RPG rounds found in Helmand province.

"A citizen in Paktika Province reported a cache site that contained a ZPU antiaircraft weapon, 20 mines, five machine guns, 10 RPG rounds, and thousands of rounds of small-arms ammunition," Wollman said.

Coalition forces secured the weapons for destruction or redistribution to the Afghan National Army.

Also, Wollman reported on coalition efforts to assist citizens affected by harsh winter conditions.

That help included medical-assistance visits from the Parwan provincial reconstruction team to the Camp Chamin-e Barbak and Camp Huzuri displaced- persons camps near Kabul to deliver much needed winter clothing and medicine to more than 2,500 people.

"Two days ago, a coalition C-130 transport plane flew from Karshi-Khanabad, Uzbekistan, to airdrop supplies to the village of Shinkay in the Zabul province," Wollman said. "The plane dropped eight packages of humanitarian assistance supplies to a coalition civil affairs team waiting on the ground below."

The packages, he said, contained 3,000 kilograms of beans, 3,000 kilograms of rice and 400 blankets. Village elders identified the neediest families in the village to receive the items.

Coalition members also assisted motorists by rendering medical attention; providing food, fuel and warming tents; and by clearing a snow-covered stretch of the Jalalabad roadway.

Many motorists were also helped as they encountered icy conditions on the road between Qalat and Ghazni.

"Two days ago, coalition forces evacuated 27 motorists to hospitals on Bagram Airfield after a multi-vehicle accident on Kabul road," he said.

"These efforts show the commitment of the Coalition to assist the Afghan people as they continue to secure a peaceful future," Wollman noted.

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