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Afghan Forces Confiscate Opium Cache, Capture Taliban Commander

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2009 – Afghan security forces, assisted by coalition forces, confiscated an opium cache and captured several armed enemy fighters in the southern province of Kandahar today and captured a Taliban commander in an earlier operation, military officials reported.

In the Kandahar engagement, the security forces were attacked in the Chenartu Valley by enemy fighters with small-arms fire. The combined patrol returned fire and called in air support on the enemy positions.

At the site, forces recovered 30 pounds of opium and captured several armed militants.

The combined security forces are in the area conducting multi-day clearing operations, working to disrupt known training camps and capture militant leaders, officials said.

In other news from Afghanistan, military officials in Kabul reported today that Afghan soldiers, assisted by coalition forces, captured Taliban commander Mullah Shah Mohammed on June 12 in the village of Dizak in Farah province.

The Afghan forces and their coalition counterparts found Mohammed while clearing the village to disrupt militant activity. Multiple weapons, homemade explosives and opium were removed from Mohammed's compound during the sweep, officials said.

During a continued search of the area, the combined force was attacked by militant gunfire. After positively identifying the enemy fighting positions, the troops responded with small-arms fire, eliminating several enemy fighters. After the operation was complete, the combined forces met with village elders to explain the purpose of the mission.

No Afghan army, coalition forces or noncombatant casualties were reported.

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

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