Afghan National Security Forces uncover ammonium nitrate cache

A high­ly suc­cess­ful oper­a­tion con­duct­ed by the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces (ANSF) and their Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group (SOTG) part­ners has seized and destroyed a large cache of chem­i­cals used to man­u­fac­ture impro­vised explo­sive devices (IEDs) from com­pounds in Kan­da­har Province.

Dur­ing the ANSF led mis­sion ear­ly this month, sev­er­al com­pounds of inter­est were cleared and a quan­ti­ty in excess of 800kg of refined ammo­ni­um nitrate was seized and destroyed.

Ammo­ni­um nitrate is a key com­po­nent used to man­u­fac­ture IEDs.

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of SOTG, Lieu­tenant Colonel G (who can not be iden­ti­fied for secu­ri­ty rea­sons) said the quan­ti­ty of ammo­ni­um nitrate seized on this mis­sion could have man­u­fac­tured about 50 IEDs.

“The destruc­tion of such a large vol­ume of ammo­ni­um nitrate will sig­nif­i­cant­ly degrade the insur­gents’ capa­bil­i­ty to man­u­fac­ture IEDs to attack civil­ians, ISAF and Afghan forces in the area,” Lieu­tenant Colonel G said.

“The con­cen­trat­ed efforts of the ANSF and SOTG con­tin­ue to make steady progress in improv­ing the secu­ri­ty sit­u­a­tion and degrad­ing the insur­gency in the lead up to tran­si­tion to Afghan-led secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ty by the end of 2014.”

The cor­don and search mis­sion focused on the dis­rup­tion of insur­gent net­works.

Dur­ing the mis­sion, a per­son of inter­est was detained. He was trans­ferred to Mul­ti Nation­al Base Tarin — Kot for pro­cess­ing.

IEDs are a com­mon weapon used by insur­gents. Ten Aus­tralian sol­diers have been killed in action while serv­ing in Afghanistan as a result of IED blasts.

The ANSF led the suc­cess­ful mis­sion with­out any casu­al­ties being suf­fered.

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

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