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Coalition in Afghanistan Wraps Up Mountain Blizzard

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2004 – Operation Mountain Blizzard has successfully ended in Afghanistan, and Operation Mountain Storm has begun, coalition officials in the Afghan capital of Kabul announced in a news release today.

In the two months of Mountain Blizzard, the coalition conducted 1,731 patrols and 143 raids and cordon-and-search operations. They killed 22 enemy combatants and discovered caches with 3,648 rockets, 3,202 mortar rounds, 2,944 rocket- propelled grenades, 3,000 rifle rounds, 2,232 mines and tens of thousands of rounds of small-arms ammunition, the news release said.

Mountain Storm is the next in the continuing series of operations in the south, southeast, and eastern portions of Afghanistan designed to destroy terrorist organizations and their infrastructure while continuing to focus on national stability and support, officials said.

Weapons caches were found March 12 in the vicinity of Khowst, Ghazni, Qalat, Zormat, Shkin and Bagram Air Field. Also on March 12, an Afghan citizen turned in a recoilless rifle, an anti-aircraft gun, a mortar and machine guns, along with ammunition to coalition forces near Deh Rawod.

The news release also reported on continued progress in Afghanistan. Today in Ghazni City, the Civil Military Operations Center participated in a ribbon- cutting ceremony recognizing the purchase of dump trucks that will be used to clean up trash and waste in the city. Also, today in Jalalabad, the Provincial Reconstruction Team will attend the grand opening for a Rotary International School in Chaparhar District.

The PRT donated the desks for the school. Rotary International is planning on opening another school in the district within the year, officials said.

In preparation for the upcoming elections, four more voter registration sites will open next week in Kandahar, bringing the total to eight for the area.

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