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Afghan Forces Recover Drugs from Runaway Vehicle

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2010 – Afghan soldiers confiscated heroin and opium from a vehicle trying to bypass a checkpoint in Afghanistan’s Helmand province yesterday, military officials reported.

When Afghan soldiers tried to detain the driver, he accelerated the vehicle dragging a soldier along. Fellow soldiers fired warning shots and attempted to fire vehicle-disabling shots. When that didn't work, the soldiers fired lethal shots into the vehicle wounding the driver, who later died of his wounds.

More than 130 pounds of processed heroin and a small quantity of opium were recovered. The soldier was not seriously injured in the incident.

Also yesterday, a joint patrol discovered 540 pounds of ammonium nitrate and a weapon in Kandahar province. The ammonium nitrate was in containers typically used in homemade bombs.

Military officials said this could have been turned into nearly 1,000 pounds of explosives.

In other operations yesterday:

-- A combined Afghan and international security force stopped a vehicle in Kandahar province. During the stop, the force detained several insurgents and killed a Taliban explosives operator responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

-- A force searched a compound, and detained a pair of suspected militants in Kandahar province.

-- While searching a compound in Kunduz province, a force faced an imminent threat and then took hostile gunfire. They returned fire, killing three militants. Multiple weapons were found on site, including rocket-propelled grenade rounds.

While flying back to the base, the assault force helicopters received hostile fire from rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. The aircraft immediately returned fire, killing two militants. The helicopters were not damaged and returned to the base without incident.

-- A security force searched a compound in Logar province last night and detained a suspected militant.

-- In Helmand yesterday, a combined force discovered a weapons cache after coming under fire by insurgents. The cache contained 10 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, two grenade launchers, 16 circuit boards, 11 bomb initiators, nine pressure plates, six time-delay devices, three hand-held radios, two assault rifles and other bomb-making materials.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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