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Troops Seize Drugs, Fend Off Insurgents in Afghanistan

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2010 – Afghan and international forces seized weapons and drugs in recent days while continuing to disrupt the insurgency across Afghanistan, military officials reported.

In central Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province this morning, an International Security Assistance Force patrol found and destroyed a cache in the Tarin Kot district that contained a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with two rounds, two RPG fuel cells and multiple .50-caliber rounds.

In the northern province of Kunduz last night, a combined force searched a compound in the Chahar Dara district for a Taliban commander involved in insurgent attacks. The force detained several suspected insurgents for questioning.

In the south, an Afghan security force in Kandahar province’s Spin Boldak district yesterday found 4,600 pounds of ammonium nitrate -- a banned fertilizer that’s often used in makeshift bombs – as well as nearly 4,000 pounds of chemicals and 4,590 liters of acid used in heroin production.

An ISAF patrol clearing a suspected insurgent position from a previous engagement yesterday in Helmand province’s Nad-e Ali district found more than a thousand rounds of ammunition, nine RPG warheads and 50 pounds of opium.

In Uruzgan’s Chorah district May 8, an ISAF patrol confiscated six hand grenades, three grenade fuses, nearly 1,000 7.62 mm rounds, 50 machine-gun rounds, two assault rifles, a pistol, a radio and several types of magazines and weapon holsters.

Also on May 8, Afghan and U.S. special operations forces helped Afghan civilians fight off an insurgent attack in the Shindand district of the western province of Herat on May 8. The fight began when a large group of insurgents surrounded residents guarding their village. When the villagers refused to give in to their demands, the insurgents opened fire on the guards and the surrounding community with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. Several civilians and insurgents were killed, and a villager was injured by the gunfire.

As the villagers continued to defend themselves by returning fire and outmaneuvering the larger group of about 20 insurgents, village leaders asked for help from a nearby Afghan commando unit and its partnered U.S. special operations forces element.

When the combined team arrived to assist the villagers, they were engaged by insurgents firing small arms from four cars and a motorcycle. Together, the Afghan civilians and the combined force engaged the insurgents, killing several, while medical personnel treated the injured and provided transportation to medical facilities.

The remaining insurgents fled, and they hid in the local community. A village patrol searched the area to expel remaining insurgents and found that the insurgents had killed several residents.

In response to the insurgent attack, officials said, local, district and provincial leaders have joined with Afghan and U.S. forces to protect their community from further violence, increase security and expand economic development.

A combined force in Helmand’s Now Zad district found two assembled roadside bombs, pressure plates and dozens of RPGs, which often are disassembled so their explosives can be used in bombs. The force came under small arms and RPG fire, but it restrained return fire out of concern for possible civilian casualties, and no civilians were injured, officials said.

In a separate May 8 operation in Helmand, Afghan forces with their ISAF partners seized a large quantity of drugs and killed several insurgents after stopping a suspicious vehicle near the Pakistan border.

Several armed men fled the vehicle and hid nearby. They ignored numerous Afghan police warnings in local dialects, and were killed after presenting a threat to the combined force.

The patrol found nearly 5,000 pounds of opium resin, 330 pounds of wet opium, 132 pounds of morphine, 44 pounds of heroin, two assault rifles and two pistols.

 

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