Afghan Militia Members Turn in Weapons at Kandahar Ceremony
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 29, 2004 Civilian militia members were scheduled to lay down their arms today in a ceremony in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
This morning's disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration commencement ceremony was scheduled to include a parade of 1,000 demobilizing soldiers, and weapons collection was set to begin this afternoon, according to a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release. The commander of the Kandahar provincial reconstruction team was scheduled to attend the ceremony.
Officials said the ceremony marks another step in a program designed to integrate 100,000 Afghan militia members into the new Afghan army and other government-sponsored security activities, or into civilian life.
The same news release provided details on various military operations:
The Ghazni provincial reconstruction team received word of a weapons cache March 28. The PRT turned that information over to the U.S. infantry battalion at Ghazni, and 10th Mountain Division soldiers from that battalion recovered 10 anti-tank mines, 10 mortar rounds, 10 rocket-propelled grenades, and 100 30 mm grenades.
Also on March 28, soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, found a cache with 2,000 Enfield rifles, 50 mortar rounds, 50 cases of 23 mm anti-aircraft rounds and various other munitions while clearing a building in Kandahar.
Coalition forces patrolling near Khowst March 27 discovered three weapons caches consisting of about 1,000 large- and 1,500 small-caliber machine gun rounds and various other munitions.