Afghan and British troops discover huge drugs and explosives cache

Working closely with Afghan security forces, soldiers of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment have made a considerable discovery of insurgent narcotics and supplies in the Nad ‚Ali district of Helmand province.

Sergeant Terry Johnson with carefully bagged evidence that may help to identify the owners of the explosives and their intended use [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Ministry of Defence, UK
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The men of A (Norfolk) Company have been working closely with Afghan security forces since their arrival in Helmand in late March.

The discovery happened on Thursday 17 May when troops from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Vikings, were carrying out an operation with Afghan forces to stop insurgents threatening the protected communities in Nad ‚Ali.

The operation began with a helicopter insertion into the area early in the morning and after a long march the men of 1 Platoon approached the group of compounds which intelligence had identified as an area of interest.

On arrival at the compounds, A Company Sergeant Terry Johnson asked Corporal Jamie Seymour to secure the area as he spoke with a local elder.

Sergeant Johnson said:

„I was content after liaising with the local elder that the area was quiet; as I made preparations to depart Private Liam Downes said he had made a find.

„We get tip-offs from the locals regularly. On this occasion we had no reason to expect this find was going to be anything special. I wanted to be happy that we weren’t missing anything else so I ordered the compound near the find to be searched.“

The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) had received a ‚tip-off‘ from locals on the location of a potential enemy hoard. The find that Private Downes had located turned out to be a 50kg bag of explosives.

Further inside the compounds ISAF and NDS personnel located a ninety-kilogram bag of opium, as well as equipment used for filtration of the drug.

Sergeant Johnson continued:

„This is a massive knock to the enemy. The opium has an estimated value of $60,000.“

Major Matt Woodeson, Officer Commanding A (Norfolk) Company, said:

„The boys did well, relying on their training and each other. With the co-operation of the local nationals and our Afghan partners we have dealt another blow to the insurgent cause.“

Press release
Ministry of Defence, UK