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Afghan, International Forces Capture Militants

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2010 – Afghan and international forces captured numerous suspected insurgents in four Afghanistan provinces during combined operations over the last two days, military officials reported.

Bagram-based Special Forces and international forces captured two suspects connected to insurgents in Helmand’s Nawzad district. In a separate operation in the Garmsir district, a combined force captured several insurgents.

Almost a dozen suspected insurgents believed to be responsible for roadside bombing attacks were arrested in Khost province, and their rifles and ammunition were seized.

Afghan soldiers operating in Kandahar’s Jharai district captured several suspected insurgents.

In operations today, Afghan and international forces captured several men involved with planning suicide-bomb attacks in Helmand.

One of the men is a senior Taliban commander in Nad-e Ali district known to have links with suicide-bomb networks and to have planned attacks against Afghan and international forces. The operation west of Nad-e Ali was the second in a week that resulted in the capture of a Taliban commander.

Three suicide-bomb vest detonators were found, along with an assault rifle, five loaded magazines and a grenade. Three women and four children in the compound were protected throughout the operation

An Afghan-international security force captured several insurgents and found weapons and ammunition during an operation in Helmand’s Garmsir district today.

In Helmand’s Washer district last night, a combined force detained several possible insurgents for further questioning.

Also last night, an Afghan-international force searched

a halfway house in Helmand’s Giyan district that was known to hold militants awaiting transportation to other networks and detained two suspected insurgents for further questioning.

In Wardak province last night, a combined force killed a Taliban facilitator who tried to engage them. He is believed to have been responsible for weapons smuggling and leading a small band of fighters in attacks against coalition forces. Several other insurgents were captured, and the combined force found multiple weapons and rocket-propelled grenade propellant at the site.

In other operations, an Afghan-international patrol found a weapons cache in Helmand’s Nad-e Ali district. It contained 53 pressure plate detonators, 36 other detonators, an improvised mine, more than 16 pounds of homemade explosives, 12 rounds of 12.7 mm ammunition, eight artillery rounds, three mortar heads and fins, seven bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, small-arms ammunition and various improvised explosive device-making materials. The Afghan government has banned the fertilizer because it can be used to make explosives.

In Helmand’s Musa Qalah district yesterday, a combined patrol came under fire from insurgents. When the patrol approached the firing position, several insurgents surrendered. The patrol found a weapons cache nearby containing a 105 mm round, pressure plate detonators, various bomb components and containers for homemade explosives.

An Afghan-international patrol found another weapons cache in Helmand’s Nahr-e Saraj district yesterday. It contained three rocket-propelled grenades and about 300 rounds of small-arms ammunition.

In the Shah Joy district of Zabul province yesterday, a combined patrol found two 122 mm rockets, two blasting caps and various bomb-making materials.

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

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