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Terrorist Facilitator, IED Expert Captured in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces have captured suspected terrorists and destroyed a car rigged with explosives in operations in Afghanistan over the past three days.

A suspected al Qaeda facilitator and improvised-explosive-device expert was captured today, along with five other suspected terrorists, during an assault by Afghan and coalition forces on a compound near Jalalabad, in the Nangarahar province of Afghanistan. No shots were fired, and no civilians or forces were injured during the assault.

The suspected terrorist was an alleged IED expert and logistics officer for the “Tora Bora Front,” which facilitates the movement of fighters from Pakistan to Afghanistan. The individuals were taken into custody for questioning.

During a separate operation, Afghan National Police captured and destroyed a car bomb yesterday in Kapisa province near a coalition fire base in Nejrab.

The Afghan police had chased the vehicle after AK-47 ammunition was observed falling from the vehicle. The driver fled the vehicle, and the police discovered the right side of the vehicle was wired with explosives. They secured the area and notified Afghan National Army and coalition forces of their discovery.

A combined Afghan and coalition patrol responded, and trained personnel conducted a thorough search of the vehicle. They determined the device was too dangerous to disarm, and Afghan army and coalition forces rigged the vehicle with explosives to detonate it and deem it safe. The charges destroyed the right side of the vehicle, ensuring the explosive device was no longer a threat. There were no injuries to any civilians or coalition forces during this operation.

“The successful interdiction and disposal of this vehicle before it could be used in an attack increases security and reduces the danger posed by criminals and insurgents who have no regard for Afghan life and would harm innocent civilians, Afghan national aecurity and coalition forces,” said Army Lt. Col. David Accetta, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman.

On March 5, Afghan and coalition forces arrested five suspected terrorists, two of whom attempted to flee to a neighboring building, during an operation west of Khowst city. The men were arrested without further incident following a thorough search of the buildings. The search also uncovered a cache of grenades and armor-piercing rounds.

Credible information in connection with anti-government activities and known terrorist groups at the suspected compound led the coalition forces to the building in Khowst province, U.S. officials said.

No shots were fired during the operation, and there were no reported injuries or damages. The grenades and ammunition were destroyed at the scene.

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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