Coalition, Afghan Forces Detain Five, Seize Opium
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 12, 2009 Afghan and coalition forces captured two drug traffickers, seized about a half ton of opium, and captured three other suspects in separate overnight operations in Afghanistan.
In the Musa Qaleh district of Helmand province, Afghan forces, advised by coalition forces, detained the drug traffickers and opium early today.
The combined forces found nearly 1,000 pounds of black-tar opium during a search of a suspected militant’s home. A suspected drug trafficker and an armed accomplice were found in the house and detained without resistance. The suspected trafficker is believed to have ties with people who use the proceeds from the sale of drugs to finance insurgent activities. An AK-47 assault rifle, a machine gun and a sniper rifle also were confiscated.
The drug cache was destroyed on site and the two men were taken into Afghan security forces custody. Afghan and coalition forces safeguarded 13 men, nine women and eight children during the search. No injuries were reported.
In a separate operation overnight in the outskirts of Kunduz City in Kunduz province, south of the border with Tajikistan, Afghan army and coalition forces captured a militant tied to senior leadership of the Pakistani-based Islamic Jihad Union militant group.
The combined force entered the compound where the known militant was staying and conducted a search without incident, detaining the targeted man and another suspected of being part of the same network. Afghan forces coordinated with local Afghan police to hand over responsibility for security in the area once the combined force departed. The mission was intended to disrupt foreign terrorist networks operating between Pakistan and Afghanistan, officials said.
In another overnight operation in Kunar province’s Shaikal Shate district, Afghan forces, supported by a small element of coalition forces, searched a targeted compound and detained an insurgent known to be connected to bomb-making operations and trafficking foreign fighters.
(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)