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Afghan, Coalition Troops Find Narcotics Cache

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2010 – Afghan and International Security Assistance Force troops found and secured a large amount of narcotics during a combined operation in the Achin district of Nangarhar province today.

As the group entered the target village, they saw several people fleeing the area with bags. Some of the bags were dropped in haste to elude the patrol. The combined force found narcotics inside the bags.

During a search of the area the force discovered 30 kilograms of packaged heroin, 20 kilograms of opium paste, 80 liters of chemicals used to process opium and five rifles.

The narcotics, chemicals and weapons were destroyed on site.

In other Afghanistan news today, Afghan and coalition forces killed at least 15 insurgents in a firefight after insurgents attempted to set up an attack position in the Tsowkey district of Kunar province. After positively identifying insurgents setting up what has been known as a historical attack position in the area, an air weapons team engaged them, resulting in 15 insurgents killed. Initial reports indicate all rounds were on target, and there were no injuries to civilians in the area.

In yesterday’s Afghanistan news:

-- Afghan and coalition security forces spent the month of September continuing to capture and kill key Taliban and Haqqani insurgent leaders, ensuring civilians were able to cast their vote in the parliamentary elections and clearing traditional insurgent strong holds. September marked a total of more than 438 suspected insurgents detained and 114 insurgents killed in security force operations. The security force captured or killed more than 105 Haqqani Network and Taliban leaders. These leadership figures include shadow governors, leaders, sub-leaders and weapons facilitators. Afghan and coalition forces completed 194 missions, 88 percent of them without shots fired. During those operations, more than 1,000 women and more than 1,750 children were protected.

-- Multiple intelligence sources and tips from local civilians led Afghan National Security and International Security Assistance Forces to a compound associated with an insurgent leader and improvised explosive device expert during an operation in Helmand province. As the strike force prepared to enter the target area, several armed insurgents were seen running into a tunnel system used by insurgents to formulate a defense of the compound. They were seen taking up firing positions and were preparing to engage the strike force from a flanking position. The strike force then engaged the armed insurgents using precision fire, killing two. The combined force then moved to clear the target compound. At the first building they called-out to the occupants, giving them a chance to come out peacefully. An insurgent and a woman exited the building. When the insurgent moved quickly into the shadow of the building, retrieved a weapon and attempted to engage the strike force they shot and killed him. When the combined force searched the building, they found numerous rocket-propelled grenades and launchers in the room the insurgent had exited. Following this engagement, three men, four women and six children exited a building in another part of the compound. They told the patrol of a number of Taliban fighters were staying in a separate part of the compound. As the force moved through the compound, they discovered a cache of RPGs, four AK-47s and numerous explosives. They continued to call out to the inhabitants, resulting in another man, woman and seven children exiting. The women and children were protected.

While clearing yet another building in the compound, the force discovered two live IEDs - 104 mm shells wired to explode. Another successful call-out led to three men, six women and nine children leaving the building. All weapons and explosives were destroyed on site by the combined force. The target of the search is a senior Taliban facilitator linked to the planning and facilitating of suicide attacks. He also procures and distributes IED components and weapons, acts as a Taliban paymaster to senior leaders, is a tactical instructor and procures poisons for insurgent use.

-- Coalition forces discovered more than 1,100 kilograms of ammonium nitrate in the courtyard of a compound in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province. Coalition forces estimate more than 50 improvised explosive devices could have been made with the amount of banned material discovered. "This is a significant find in a key area of Kandahar province," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "It takes a large number of potential IEDs out of the hands of the insurgents whose indiscriminate use of IEDs endangers innocent Afghan civilians as well as Afghan and coalition forces."

-- An Afghan and coalition security force killed a Haqqani Network senior leader who supplied and coordinated attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces along with six insurgents in Khost province. He was also directly involved in the planning and coordination of the foiled late-August attacks against Forward Operating Bases Salerno and Chapman. The failed attack resulted in more than 30 Haqqani insurgents killed. No Afghan or coalition forces were killed in the attack. Intelligence information led the security force to a compound in Terayzai, where the targeted individual stopped after returning from Pakistan. As the combined security force began clearing the targeted compound, several insurgents inside one of the buildings threatened the security force with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. The security force engaged them, killing the targeted individual and his Haqqani associates. Upon further inspection of the building, the security force found multiple automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, magazines and ammunition, along with a rifle and improvised explosive device components inside the building. After the area was secure, the security force searched the area discovering multiple RPG rounds and magazines, along with a machine gun, hand grenade, knife and IED components in a vehicle outside the building. After initial questioning of the residents at the scene, the security force detained one suspected insurgent. The security force protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained one suspected insurgent in Zabul province while in pursuit of a Taliban leader who facilitates and conducts improvised explosive device attacks along Highway 1, a heavily travelled highway used by Afghan civilians. Based on intelligence reports, the security force targeted a compound northeast of Kala in Qalat district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the combined force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained one suspected insurgent. The security force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani Network facilitator, known to endanger the Afghan populace through his indiscriminate improvised explosive device attacks, in Khost province. He also provided support to Taliban insurgents operating in the area. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound in the Bak district to search for the facilitator. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the combined force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the facilitator along with three of his associates. The security force also found an automatic weapon, ammunition and a hand grenade at the scene. The security force did not fire their weapons and they protected the women and children for the duration of the search.

-- Afghan and coalition forces captured a Taliban senior leader based in the Panjwa'i district of Kandahar province. The targeted individual facilitated weapons, improvised explosive device components, training and bed-down locations for Taliban leadership. His actions continuously endangered the Afghan people living in and around the city of Kandahar. Based on intelligence tips, the security force tracked the targeted individual traveling in a vehicle southeast of the city of Kandahar. Afghan and coalition forces interdicted the vehicle peacefully and then secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the senior leader. The security force did not fire their weapons.

 

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