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Afghan Boy Leads Coalition Forces to Weapons, Drug Cache

American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, April 22, 2005 – An Afghan boy whose father received treatment from a visiting U.S. military medical team last week turned a cache of ammunition and drugs over to coalition forces April 21.

The boy led Afghan National Army and coalition forces to a house in a village 10 kilometers away from Ghazni. The ANA approached the house's owner, who claimed he had no weapons inside. Afghan and coalition forces searched the dwelling and discovered a cache of 13 rocket-propelled grenades, a Russian-manufactured machine gun, a mortar round, several improvised-explosive-device components, plastic explosives, numerous rounds of ammunition and two bags of opium.

In addition to the munitions and drugs, a number of documents pertaining to Taliban operations were recovered.

"The fact that these insurgents would store these dangerous munitions and drugs so close to an area where children live and play only highlights that fact that they don't care who is hurt, or worse, killed, in their struggle against the people of Afghanistan," said Brig. Gen. James G. Champion, Combined Joint Task Force 76 deputy commanding general for operations.

Afghans account for more than 50 percent of all munitions turned into coalition forces and for more than 90 percent of all improvised explosive devices discovered, officials said.

"This is an excellent example of ordinary Afghan people standing up for themselves and their families to tell the insurgents, 'We're tired of living with terror and we're going to do something about it,'" Champion said.

"Events like this are happening more often across the country of Afghanistan as the Taliban loyalists and foreign fighters find they have less and less support from everyday Afghan citizens," he continued. "The fact that a child was able to come forward with this information only reinforces the message that what little support the insurgents once enjoyed in Afghanistan is slipping away more and more every day."

Medical assistance visits are conducted throughout many of the smaller villages of Afghanistan and typically treat a wide variety of illnesses and injuries ranging from amputation-related pain to follow-on burn treatment to cold and flu symptoms.

The explosive portions of the cache were taken to a nearby forward operating base for destruction. Afghan and coalition forces destroyed the drugs.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan press release.)

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