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Surrenders, Drug Finds Highlight Afghanistan Activity

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2010 – The voluntary surrender of nine insurgents and two significant drug finds highlight recent activity in Afghanistan, military officials reported.

International Security Assistance Force members in eastern Afghanistan are helping Afghan government representatives in the surrender of nine members of the insurgency yesterday in the Marawarah district of Kunar province.

The nine men reportedly arrived at the provincial governor’s compound to accept the offer of reconciliation they heard about on the radio. Upon presenting themselves to local leaders, the former members of the insurgency turned in their personal weapons, a rocket-propelled grenade, four assault rifles, eight RPG rounds, seven RPG boosters, 16 loaded assault-rifle magazines and four chest-rack systems.

The illegal drug trade that helps to fund enemy activity was dealt a blow in two recent incidents. Afghan National Police and ISAF forces seized and destroyed 1,000 pounds of hashish after searching a building in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province yesterday afternoon. On Jan. 12, a combined force searched a vehicle in the Garmser district of Helmand province and found 1,300 pounds of black-tar heroin. Two people were detained, and the drugs were destroyed.

In other news from Afghanistan, five Afghan civilians were wounded at the entry control point of Combat Outpost Sher in Helmand’s Garmser district Jan. 13. Afghan and ISAF forces warned a crowd of 200 to 400 civilians to keep its distance from the outpost and fired warning shots when a number of civilians in the crowd disregarded instructions. Proper escalation-of-force procedures were followed, officials said, but one person continued to ignore instructions, striking members of the combined force with a stick. ISAF forces evacuated five wounded civilians to the nearby Forward Operating Base Dwyer treatment facility.

Separately yesterday, after a patrol suffered a roadside-bomb strike in Kandahar province, three motorcycles approached at a high rate of speed. As escalation-of-force procedures were followed, the patrol perceived an imminent threat and shot and killed two people and detained four others.

In Kandahar last night, a combined security force searched a compound outside the village of Rahman Kahn in the province’s Zaharay district and captured a Taliban facilitator believed to be responsible for planning and directing bombing attacks. The force also detained another suspected insurgent. No shots were fired and no Afghan civilians were harmed in the operation.

In other news, ISAF forces discovered six weapons caches and bomb-making materials after sweeping an area for roadside bombs in the Reg-e-Khan Neshin district of Helmand province yesterday afternoon.

The combined caches contained 31 pressure-plate switches, six RPG propellant charges, 17 hand grenades, nine grenade fuses, 340 pounds of homemade explosives, a pressure cooker wired with detonation cord, eight electronic initiating devices, 200 to 300 LED lights often used as improvised blasting caps, numerous small arms and ammunition, an RPG launcher, a large spool of copper wire, ingredients for making explosives, a large assortment of batteries and black ski masks. Most of the materials were destroyed, and ISAF forces detained six people.

In an operation yesterday in the village of Gorgerah Ghar in the Sabari district of Khost province, a combined force searched a compound and captured a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator responsible for the delivery of weapons, bombs, mines and ammunition to other militant factions.

The force also detained another insurgent and recovered an RPG, a hand grenade and machine-gun ammunition. No shots were fired and no Afghan civilians were harmed in the operation.

An Afghan civilian saved lives yesterday when he directed an Afghan-international force to a roadside bomb in Kandahar. An explosive ordnance disposal team detonated the device, and no one was injured.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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