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Afghan, Coalition Troops Curtail Terrorists, Destroy Drugs, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2008 – Coalition forces detained six militants yesterday while continuing to target terrorist networks in Afghanistan’s Paktia province, military officials reported.

The operation in Zadran district, about 85 miles south of Kabul and near the Pakistan border, targeted a known Haqqani terrorist network militant believed to be in direct contact with senior Haqqani leaders and to coordinate and direct terrorist activities aimed at destabilizing the region.

Coalition forces searched the compound without incident while protecting five women and six children and detained six suspected militants, officials said.

It was the second such operation in Paktia in as many days. On Nov. 29, Afghan and coalition forces killed 17 armed militants and detained 10 suspects while targeting the Haqqani and Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin terrorist networks in the same area.

“The success of each operation not only motivates continued efforts to thwart terrorism, it sends a message of improved security for the Afghan people,” Army Col. Jerry O’Hara, a U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesman, said.

Also in Afghanistan, Afghan commandos and coalition forces conducted a search in southern Afghanistan yesterday that further disrupted terrorist networks. The search yielded more than 150 pounds of narcotics, weapons and bomb-making caches.

The combined forces used an air assault to move into an area near the Maywand district of Kandahar province, about 50 miles west of Kandahar city. Their search discovered more than 100 pounds of opium and more than 50 pounds of heroin, machine-gun rounds, bomb-making materials, and automatic weapons, all of which were destroyed.

No commando, coalition or civilian casualties were reported.

“It’s clear that these militants finance their activities by illegal drug trade,” O’Hara said. “Well, today Afghan commandos took some of their funding away.”

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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