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Forces Detain Suspected Militants in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2010 – A combined Afghan and international security force detained several suspected militants in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province during two operations yesterday.

During the first operation, the combined force searched a vehicle after intelligence information indicated militant activity, and detained several people for further questioning.

In the second operation, a combined force searched a vehicle and detained a man.

In other operations yesterday:

-- A combined force searched a compound in Khowst province after intelligence data indicated insurgent activity. During the search, the force captured a terrorist cell operator and other insurgents responsible for the movement of mines, rockets, machine guns and ammunition to insurgent factions. The force found multiple weapons including automatic rifles and a stolen military uniform.

-- A force searched a compound in Khowst after intelligence found militant activity and detained several suspected insurgents.

-- A combined patrol discovered a weapons cache in Helmand province. The cache consisted of a new mortar system, three mortar rounds, two fuses, one rocket, and 100 rounds of small-arms ammunition.

-- A combined patrol made several weapons and explosive cache finds within a short distance of each other in Kandahar province. The caches consisted of seven sticks of TNT, six artillery rounds, one block of explosives, one hand grenade, two detonators, nearly six pounds of homemade explosives, a detonation cord, hundreds of rounds of small arms ammunition, and a number of bomb making components. The force also detained a suspect at one of the sites.

-- A combined security force discovered 700 rounds of small arms ammunition in Helmand province.

-- A patrol spotted a disabled truck in Kandahar province. While searching the vehicle, troops found more than 2,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material commonly used to make homemade explosives. This amount of ammonium nitrate could have produced nearly 4,400 pounds of explosive material.

-- International forces patrolling in Kandahar province recently traded 10 bags of fertilizer with a local farmer. The farmer was unaware of the recent ban on ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer. He agreed to accept a voucher for an equal amount of legal fertilizer after discussing the issue with a village elder. The banned fertilizer was destroyed on site. Local scientists have determined that ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer isn't the most economical, nor is it the most suitable fertilizer for the soil in Afghanistan. Urea-based fertilizers are recommended and are being provided to farmers.

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

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