Afghanistan — Troops Seize Drugs, Fend Off Insurgents in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2010 — Afghan and inter­na­tion­al forces seized weapons and drugs in recent days while con­tin­u­ing to dis­rupt the insur­gency across Afghanistan, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

In cen­tral Afghanistan’s Uruz­gan province this morn­ing, an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force patrol found and destroyed a cache in the Tarin Kot dis­trict that con­tained a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­er with two rounds, two RPG fuel cells and mul­ti­ple .50-cal­iber rounds.

In the north­ern province of Kun­duz last night, a com­bined force searched a com­pound in the Cha­har Dara dis­trict for a Tal­iban com­man­der involved in insur­gent attacks. The force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents for ques­tion­ing.

In the south, an Afghan secu­ri­ty force in Kan­da­har province’s Spin Boldak dis­trict yes­ter­day found 4,600 pounds of ammo­ni­um nitrate — a banned fer­til­iz­er that’s often used in makeshift bombs – as well as near­ly 4,000 pounds of chem­i­cals and 4,590 liters of acid used in hero­in pro­duc­tion.

An ISAF patrol clear­ing a sus­pect­ed insur­gent posi­tion from a pre­vi­ous engage­ment yes­ter­day in Hel­mand province’s Nad‑e Ali dis­trict found more than a thou­sand rounds of ammu­ni­tion, nine RPG war­heads and 50 pounds of opi­um.

In Uruzgan’s Chorah dis­trict May 8, an ISAF patrol con­fis­cat­ed six hand grenades, three grenade fus­es, near­ly 1,000 7.62 mm rounds, 50 machine-gun rounds, two assault rifles, a pis­tol, a radio and sev­er­al types of mag­a­zines and weapon hol­sters.

Also on May 8, Afghan and U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces helped Afghan civil­ians fight off an insur­gent attack in the Shin­dand dis­trict of the west­ern province of Her­at on May 8. The fight began when a large group of insur­gents sur­round­ed res­i­dents guard­ing their vil­lage. When the vil­lagers refused to give in to their demands, the insur­gents opened fire on the guards and the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ty with small arms and rock­et-pro­pelled grenades. Sev­er­al civil­ians and insur­gents were killed, and a vil­lager was injured by the gun­fire. As the vil­lagers con­tin­ued to defend them­selves by return­ing fire and out­ma­neu­ver­ing the larg­er group of about 20 insur­gents, vil­lage lead­ers asked for help from a near­by Afghan com­man­do unit and its part­nered U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces ele­ment.

When the com­bined team arrived to assist the vil­lagers, they were engaged by insur­gents fir­ing small arms from four cars and a motor­cy­cle. Togeth­er, the Afghan civil­ians and the com­bined force engaged the insur­gents, killing sev­er­al, while med­ical per­son­nel treat­ed the injured and pro­vid­ed trans­porta­tion to med­ical facil­i­ties. The remain­ing insur­gents fled, and they hid in the local com­mu­ni­ty. A vil­lage patrol searched the area to expel remain­ing insur­gents and found that the insur­gents had killed sev­er­al res­i­dents.

In response to the insur­gent attack, offi­cials said, local, dis­trict and provin­cial lead­ers have joined with Afghan and U.S. forces to pro­tect their com­mu­ni­ty from fur­ther vio­lence, increase secu­ri­ty and expand eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.

A com­bined force in Helmand’s Now Zad dis­trict found two assem­bled road­side bombs, pres­sure plates and dozens of RPGs, which often are dis­as­sem­bled so their explo­sives can be used in bombs. The force came under small arms and RPG fire, but it restrained return fire out of con­cern for pos­si­ble civil­ian casu­al­ties, and no civil­ians were injured, offi­cials said.

In a sep­a­rate May 8 oper­a­tion in Hel­mand, Afghan forces with their ISAF part­ners seized a large quan­ti­ty of drugs and killed sev­er­al insur­gents after stop­ping a sus­pi­cious vehi­cle near the Pak­istan bor­der.

Sev­er­al armed men fled the vehi­cle and hid near­by. They ignored numer­ous Afghan police warn­ings in local dialects, and were killed after pre­sent­ing a threat to the com­bined force. The patrol found near­ly 5,000 pounds of opi­um resin, 330 pounds of wet opi­um, 132 pounds of mor­phine, 44 pounds of hero­in, two assault rifles and two pis­tols.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es