Forces detain militants, find weapons in Afghanistan
February 28, 2011
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 -- Afghan and coalition troops detained three insurgents, including a Taliban weapons trafficker, yesterday in Afghanistan, military officials reported.
Security forces detained two militants in Paktiya province's Zurmat district after they were found with five anti-personnel mines, six hand grenades and automatic machine gun ammunition.
In Kandahar province's Kandahar district, troops captured the Taliban leader, who is responsible for coordinating attacks on security forces and facilitating suicide bombers with explosive devices.
Forces also found several weapons stockpiles throughout Afghanistan. The operations resulted in seizure of 14 rocket-propelled grenades, eight homemade explosive devices, five hand grenades, three rocket-propelled grenade launchers, three mortar rounds, one assault rifle, one machine gun and a 10 liter propane tank filled with explosives.
In operations Feb. 26 throughout Afghanistan:
- Afghan and coalition forces killed armed fighters in a gun battle in Helmand province's Nad'Ali district. Troops killed the armed militants after their patrol was ambushed by the group.
- Security forces killed two enemy fighters, including a Taliban member responsible for trafficking weapons and funding militants' operations, in a shootout in Zabul province's Tarnek wa Jaldak district.
- Forces captured 12 suspected insurgents in Kandahar province's Zharay district after troops found the suspects with 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate -- a banned fertilizer often used in homemade bombs.
- In Zabul province's Qalat district, security forces detained several suspected insurgents, including a Taliban weapons trafficker, responsible for selling and buying weapons for attacks on local security forces.
- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban weapons smuggler in Helmand province's Nahr-e Saraj district. The smuggler allegedly also has connections to narcotics traffickers in the area.
- In Logar province's Pul-e Alam district, forces detained several suspected insurgents, including a Taliban bomb-maker with alleged ties to several recent attacks on local security forces.
- Acting on tips from local residents, security forces detained four suspected insurgents with ties to Taliban bomb-makers in Kandahar province's Kandahar City.
- Security forces found several weapons stockpiles throughout Afghanistan. Operations resulted in seizure of 200 automatic machine gun rounds, 43 various rockets and mortars, 30 rocket-propelled grenades, 26 hand grenades, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two anti-tank mines. Troops also found 2,200 pounds of hashish and 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a banned fertilizer used in homemade bombs.
In operations Feb. 25:
- Afghan and coalition forces captured the top Taliban leader for Kandahar province's Zharay district along with numerous other suspected insurgents there. The Taliban leader is responsible for planning and launching attacks on local security forces and recruiting enemy fighters.
- Forces also found several weapons stockpiles throughout the country. Operations resulted in 200 assault rifle rounds, 11 hand grenades, three rocket-propelled grenade warheads, five gallons of ammonium nitrate. Security forces also found several explosive devices caches, including nearly 2,000 pounds of homemade liquid explosives, two 40-pound jugs filled with large-caliber machine gun rounds and several anti-tank mines and artillery rounds.