WASHINGTON, May 25, 2011 — A combined Afghan and coalition security force acting on intelligence leads detained several suspected insurgents while searching for a Taliban facilitator in the Musa Qalah district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province yesterday, military officials reported.
The facilitator coordinates the procurement of finances, assisting Taliban leaders as they transit through his area, officials said.
The force found and destroyed 25 pounds of opium at the scene. Drug trafficking is an important means of financing insurgent activity in Afghanistan, officials said.
In other operations yesterday:
— In Baghlan province’s Baghlan-e Jadid district, a combined force detained a suspected insurgent during an intelligence-driven operation targeting a Taliban leader who works with area commission members and Taliban commanders to plan attacks. Previously, he led a group of 10 enemy fighters.
— A combined patrol in Helmand province’s Marja district found a cache of about 900 rounds of ammunition.
— In Khost province’s Sabari district, a combined force detained a suspected insurgent while searching for a Haqqani terrorist network facilitator responsible for the transfer of weapons and explosives for attacks against Afghan forces.
— A combined force in Logar province’s Pul-e Alam district detained two suspected insurgents during a clearance operation in an area that historically is associated with a Taliban leader and commonly used for roadside-bomb attacks.
— In Khost province’s Nadir Shah Kot district, a coalition patrol found two 107 mm rockets, an anti-personnel mine and multiple machine-gun rounds, detaining a man associated with the cache for further questioning.
— In Uruzgan province’s Shahid-e-Hasas district, a combined force found and destroyed a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a machine gun, an assault rifle, a pistol, 15 RPG rounds, a recoilless rifle round, several small-arms rounds, two anti-personnel mines, a grenade, bomb-making materials, 13 RPG propellants, four chest rigs and a GPS device.
— An Afghan and coalition force in Kandahar province’s Maiwand district found and destroyed 441 pounds of hashish.
In May 23 operations:
— An Afghan and coalition operation resulted in discovery and destruction of weapons and narcotics in Helmand province’s Washer district. The combined force found 132 pounds of wet opium, 176 pounds of ammonium nitrate — a banned fertilizer used in homemade bombs — six mortar rounds, two rocket-propelled grenades, a 107 mm round, an anti-tank mine, a pressure-plate, an assault rifle, a pistol, assorted small-arms ammunition and bomb-making materials.
— A combined force seized several compounds containing illegal drugs and killed three insurgent fighters in Helmand province’s Kajaki district. The operation was intended to disrupt the illegal drug trade and insurgent activity in the region, a coalition team leader said. One of the objectives, an opium refinery, served a dual purpose for the insurgents in the area, officials said, noting that opium sales help to finance Taliban operations and drug facilities serve as staging locations for insurgent activity.
— A combined force seized and destroyed enemy weapons in Wardak province’s Maidan Shar district. The cache included nine grenades, eight 66 mm mortar rounds, an 82 mm mortar round, a 73 mm recoilless rifle round, two rifles, a machine gun and assorted ammunition.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases
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