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Forces in Afghanistan Capture Taliban Commanders

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2010 – Afghan and international forces captured two Taliban commanders and seized weapons and drugs in recent operations, military officials reported.

An Afghan-international security force captured a senior Taliban commander and another insurgent in Baghlan province’s Baghlan-e Jadid district last night. The Taliban commander is responsible for weapons smuggling, distribution, passing intelligence reports and direct attacks on coalition forces, officials said. Several weapons were found in the compound where he was captured.

In Kandahar province’s Kandahar district last night, a combined patrol captured a Taliban commander responsible for procuring and planting roadside bombs and leading ambushes of coalition force convoys.

An Afghan army patrol found 14 grenades, four rocket-propelled grenade boosters, 40 pull pins, 30 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, and an estimated 1,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition in Helmand province Nad-e Ali district yesterday. An International Security Assistance Force explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the cache.

Also in the Nad-e Ali district yesterday, an Afghan-international patrol found 330 pounds of ammonium nitrate and an assault rifle with ammunition. Ammonium nitrate is a banned fertilizer often used in making roadside bombs.

In Helmand’s Musa Qalah district yesterday, a combined patrol found 165 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle with scope, along with a significant amount of heroin, hashish and opium. Afghan authorities detained a man in connection with the discovery.

–In other news from Afghanistan, aircrews from the Afghan army air corps and ISAF have located the wreckage of the civilian Antonov aircraft listed as missing May 17. The Afghan crews, flying C-27 fixed-wing aircraft and Mi-17 helicopters, flew numerous search missions since the plane disappeared. ISAF support included intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft and several helicopters.

The crash site was first spotted on a mountainside at about 13,500 feet in the Shakar Darah district of Kabul province late yesterday and was confirmed today. Afghan authorities, with ISAF support, are planning recovery operations based on the high elevation and rugged terrain.

 

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