Afghanistan — Combined Forces in Helmand Detain Insurgents

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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