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Forces in Afghanistan Find Drugs, Detain Insurgents

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2010 – Afghan and international forces seized large quantities of illegal drugs, detained suspected insurgents and seized illegal weapons in recent operations in Afghanistan.

An Afghan-international patrol discovered a large drug cache in the Kash Rod district of Nimroz province today.

The cache contained 55 pounds of wet opium, 100 gallons of liquid morphine, 30 gallons of liquid chemical precursors, 220 pounds of pure heroin and 110 pounds of heroin waste products.

In addition, the cache contained 660 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, a material often used in homemade bombs. The Afghan government outlawed the material in January because of its use by insurgents. This amount of ammonium nitrate could have produced about 1,500 pounds of homemade explosives, officials said. The cache was destroyed by an explosive ordnance disposal team.

Another cache was found in the same district later this afternoon containing 88 pounds of opium gum, 88 pounds of morphine base, 39 gallons of precursor chemicals for opium processing and drug-processing equipment.

In a separate drug find yesterday, a combined patrol in the Reg-e Khan Neshin district of Helmand found about 200 pounds of marijuana, almost 50 pounds of hashish and 100 pounds of seeds. Three suspects were detained.

In other recent operations:

-- An Afghan-international security force detained suspected insurgents today in a rural area of the Nawah-ye Barakzai district of Helmand province.

-- Another combined force in Helmand today detained two suspected insurgents outside the town of Khugyani Gundey in the Nahr-e Saraj district.

-- In Khost province last night, an Afghan-international security force outside the town of Surwapan Tuy in the Sabari district captured several insurgents and found multiple rifles, shotguns and grenades.

-- In a separate Khost operation yesterday, a combined force near the village of Karizownah in the Sabari district detained several suspected insurgents, including a known Haqqani terrorist network facilitator responsible for the purchase and movement of weapons.

-- International forces found 24 Chinese mortar grenades yesterday in Ghazni province. The munitions were destroyed by an explosive ordnance disposal team.

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

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