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Troops Detain Suspected Insurgents, Find Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2010 – Afghan and international forces detained numerous suspected insurgents and found stockpiles of weapons in recent operations around Afghanistan, military officials reported.

-- A combined Afghan-international force in the Panjwayee district of Kandahar province detained several suspected militants today for further questioning.

-- A combined force captured a Taliban facilitator last night south of Kandahar. He’s believed to be responsible for planning complex attacks, developing methods to conceal bomb-making materials and building vehicle bombs. The force also detained several other suspected insurgents.

-- In Khost province last night, an Afghan-international force in the province’s Khost district captured a Haqqani terrorist network subcommander accused of organizing suicide bombings, planting roadside bombs and attacking coalition forces. Two other suspected insurgents also were apprehended, and the assault force recovered a shotgun and an automatic rifle.

-- In Paktia province last night, a combined force killed one militant and wounded another in the Gardez district. The wounded militant received immediate medical assistance, and he was detained along with two others. A search team found automatic rifles, grenades and bomb-making materials.

-- In the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province last night, an International Security Assistance Force patrol found a weapons cache buried in a vacant compound. The cache contained five Russian-made hand grenades, six rocket-propelled grenades and various small-arms ammunition. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the cache.

-- Also in Nad-e Ali, another patrol found and destroyed 23 pressure-plate triggering devices for roadside bombs yesterday.

-- In Kandahar province yesterday, an Afghan police patrol found a grenade launcher with nine rounds, four assault rifles with hundreds of rounds, 10 pistols with more than 600 rounds, and three pistols with silencers. Three people were detained, and the cache was confiscated.

-- Afghan forces, assisted by international forces, safely located and destroyed three roadside bombs near Gazkul in Kandahar province and Khas in Oruzgan province this week. The three bombs were placed along routes commonly used by local people and by international forces for resupply. The bombs, all of which were reported by villagers to Afghan forces, were safely destroyed in place, with no injury to civilians or structures.

-- Afghan and ISAF forces conducted an operation March 17 in the Shindand district of Herat province, capturing a prominent Taliban leader and discovering a weapons cache. The cache contained five units of TNT, five 60 mm mortars, two heavy anti-aircraft artillery rounds, an explosive vest, four rocket-propelled grenades, an anti-tank mine, 11 hand grenades, two pressure-plate triggering devices, 31 fuses and more than 3,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the cache.

Later, the commander of Task Force Center conducted a meeting with key representatives of the surrounding villages to involve local communities, show them the success of the operation, and build consensus against hostile elements.

No Afghan civilians were harmed in these operations, officials said.

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

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