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Forces Detain Suspects, Find Drugs, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2010 – Afghan and international forces detained several suspected insurgents and seized illegal drugs and enemy weapon stockpiles in recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.

An Afghan-international security force detained a suspected insurgent in the Garmsir district of Helmand province.

In Helmand’s Nad-e Ali district today, an International Security Assistance Force patrol found a weapons cache containing more than 10 pounds of homemade explosives, an 81 mm mortar round, two 60 mm mortar rounds, three 60 mm tail fins, six rocket-propelled grenade motors, a 105 mm artillery round, six RPG cones, pressure-plate devices, command-pull switches and other bomb-making materials.

In Kandahar last night, a combined force captured a Taliban bombing cell leader believed to be responsible for directing roadside-bomb emplacement and coordinating supply issues. Two other insurgents also were captured.

An Afghan-international force in the Terayzai district of Khost province detained several suspected militants last night.

Also last night, a combined force in the Zormat district of Paktia province captured a Taliban subcommander responsible for instructing other militants on building and emplacing roadside bombs and how to conduct bomb-damage assessments.

In the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province yesterday, a combined Afghan-international patrol called for air support after it came under a sustained and intense attack by a large group of insurgents using assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns. ISAF aircraft dropped precision-guided bombs on the positively identified insurgent positions. Damage assessments indicated all of the insurgents were killed.

Combined Afghan-international patrols discovered two significant drug caches in the Bakwah district of Farah province yesterday. The first cache contained 37 pounds of morphine, more than a half-ton of opium, 220 pounds of soda ash, 66 gallons of ammonium hydroxide, 50 bottles of hydrogen chloride, multiple bags of processed heroin, and narcotics-processing equipment.

The second cache, discovered two hours later and about a half-mile away by a separate patrol, contained 10 55-gallon drums of liquid opium, 50 bags of a cutting agent, a large pile of heroin and opium on the ground, pressure cookers with opium cooking inside, scales and narcotics-processing equipment. The drugs and equipment were destroyed on site.

No Afghan civilians were harmed during these operations, officials said.

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

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