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Local Afghans Lead Troops to Weapons, Explosives

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2007 – Afghan and coalition forces found three caches containing weapons and explosive materials during operations around Afghanistan the past two days.

Afghan national police and coalition forces found two weapons caches yesterday near Jalalbad after receiving tips from Afghan citizens of Pachir village in the Pachir Wa Agam district of Nangarhar province.

The stockpiles found in Pachir and Candibagh villages contained two artillery rounds, 37 rocket propelled grenade rounds, two RPG boosters, 54 bomblets, 300 rounds of 12.77 mm machine-gun ammunition and a bag of powder explosives. The munitions recovered are commonly used by Taliban extremists and foreign fighters to build improvised explosive devices, military officials said.

“The Afghan populace is tired of the destruction brought about by the Taliban and foreign fighter insurgents,” said Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a Combined Joint Task Force 82 spokesman. “Their continued effort to turn in weapons caches is a significant indication that there is growing support for the Afghan government.”

Cooperative Afghan civilians revealed the location of an IED weapons cache to Afghan border police and coalition forces April 15 in the Sherzad district of Nangarhar province.

Hidden in a compound in Tutu village, combined forces discovered a cache containing 14 rocket propelled grenade rounds, five 82 mm mortar rounds, grenades, multiple brands of chargers, various types of fuses, and 500 feet of detonation cord. The contents of the weapons cache, commonly used to build IEDs, were believed to be used in several recent IED attacks in Sherzad and Khogyani districts, military officials said.

“Afghan tribal leaders have called upon their people to turn in all weapons and munitions not used for personal protection,” said Belcher. “Afghans are taking responsibility for their safety and security by reporting the locations of weapons caches.”

Over the past two weeks, multiple weapons caches have been recovered from the Bati Kot, Shinwar, Achin, Khogyani, and Sherad districts of Nangarhar province.

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 news releases.)

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