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Forces in Afghanistan Arrest Bomb Maker

American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Feb. 24, 2010 – A combined Afghan and international security force arrested a suspected bomb maker after discovering an explosives cache in Afghanistan’s Helmand province yesterday as part of Operation Moshtarak.

The cache consisted of more than 100 pounds of explosive, 220 pounds of ammonium nitrate, an 8 2mm mortar fuse, three ammunition-filled vests, and various explosive components such as anti-tamper switches.

The bomb maker was found with blasting caps on his person. The explosives were destroyed on site.

In other operations yesterday:

-- A combined Afghan and international security force searched a vehicle in Helmand province after intelligence reports indicated militant activity. A search of the vehicle indicated a Taliban commander was possibly in a nearby village, which the combined force searched with the assistance of local elders. The security force detained several men for further questioning.

-- A combined patrol discovered a weapons cache consisting of 22 mortar rounds in Khost province. The ordnance was destroyed on site.

-- In Helmand province, a patrol discovered 15 bags of marijuana totaling more than 200 pounds. The drugs were destroyed.

-- A separate patrol discovered a weapons cache while searching an insurgent bunker in Helmand province as part of Operation Moshtarak. The cache consisted of three 107 mm rockets, five rocket-propelled grenades, two anti-personnel charges, an artillery fuse and a hand grenade. The ordnance was destroyed.

-- Afghan National Police defused four mines and discovered 110 pounds of explosive materials in Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Kunduz provinces yesterday.

-- In an operation conducted in Herat province, Afghan police discovered a machine gun, three mines, three hand grenades, five rocket rounds and 1,150 rounds of rifle ammunition.

-- A patrol discovered an explosives cache in Kandahar province. The cache contained nearly 90 pounds of ammonium nitrate, eight 155 mm shell casings, two radios, a dismantled radio, a circuit board and a large spool of wire. The materials were destroyed on site.

(From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news release.)

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