KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan-led force discovered a large weapons cache in a remote village in Badakhshan province Wednesday. The cache consisted of 78 107mm rockets with launchers, 47 82mm mortar rounds, more than 1,100 rounds of 30mm ammunition, 8,000 rounds of 7.62 machine-gun ammunition, 24 rocket propelled grenades, 60 fuses and anti-aircraft artillery parts ‑including barrels. With help from pack-animals supplied by villagers, the cache was moved to a safe location before being destroyed.
Soldiers from 1st Company, 5th Commando Kandak, partnered with agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Afghan National Interdiction Unit and U.S. Special Forces, discovered the cache in Nawci, a village suspected of being a safe haven for Taliban drug and weapon smugglers operating in the area and an infiltration route for foreign fighters operating throughout the northeast provinces of Afghanistan.
After entering the village, the partnered-force established security around the cache site to protect local villagers and then held a shura with village elders to discuss any concerns the elders had. Because of the remoteness of the village, the meeting was only the second opportunity coalition forces have had to speak with villagers in Nawci.
“The Commandos and other agencies involved in this mission proved once again to be a formidable force, even in isolated locations,” said Lt. Col. Donald Franklin, the Special Operations Task Force — East commander. “The destruction of this cache significantly increases the security of the region and will lessen both the weapons and drugs being trafficked through the area.”
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases