Afghan and Australian troops discover massive ammonium nitrate cache

The Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Force (ANSF) and Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group (SOTG) have seized and destroyed 3.75 tonnes of ammo­ni­um nitrate dur­ing an oper­a­tion in Zab­ul Province on 30 Decem­ber 2011.

Ammo­ni­um nitrate is a key com­po­nent of impro­vised explo­sive devices (IEDs). It is esti­mat­ed the amount of ammo­ni­um nitrate seized is enough to make approx­i­mate­ly 290 IEDs. 

Two per­sons of inter­est were detained and returned to Mul­ti Nation­al Base — Tarin Kot to assist fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tions. The cache was destroyed in location. 

Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group Lieu­tenant Colonel G, (whose full name can­not be used for secu­ri­ty rea­sons) said the cache dis­cov­ery was mas­sive blow to the insurgency. 

“Remov­ing this amount of ammo­ni­um nitrate from the insur­gents means hun­dreds of IEDs will not be man­u­fac­tured, mak­ing Uruz­gan and sur­round­ing provinces safer for Afghan civil­ians, ANSF and Coali­tion forces,” Lieu­tenant Colonel G said. 

“The ANSF and SOTG’s efforts to locate this cache and dis­rupt insur­gent net­works will have a direct impact on insur­gent activ­i­ties in south­ern Afghanistan.” 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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