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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