WASHINGTON, May 9, 2011 — Combined forces disrupted a Taliban meeting, killing numerous enemy fighters and detaining several others yesterday in the Qalat district of Afghanistan’s Zabul province, military officials reported.
Forces were searching for a Taliban leader responsible for trafficking bombs and other weapons to militants in the district when a large number of armed insurgents opened fire on them. Troops returned fire, killing the insurgents. After questioning the detainees, troops realized they had stumbled upon a Taliban operational meeting, officials said.
The operation resulted in the seizure of an automatic machine gun, a grenade, multiple ammunition chest racks and passports from several countries.
Also in Afghanistan yesterday, security forces ended a nearly three-week-long operation in southern Afghanistan that resulted in the seizure of more than 6 tons of hashish. The drugs have an estimated street value of $5 million and were found in three separate stockpiles in Kandahar province’s Zharay and Panjwai districts. Troops also seized 350 pounds of homemade explosives, 36 pressure plates, nine explosive devices, several rifles and assorted bomb-making materials.
In operations May 7:
— Forces killed an armed insurgent during a search mission in Baghlan province’s Barfak district after he brandished a weapon.
— Combined forces detained several suspected insurgents and found weapons while searching for a Taliban weapons trafficker and terrorist trainer in Baghlan province’s Barfak district. The seized weapons included a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with multiple rounds and boosters, multiple 107 mm warheads rigged as explosive devices, 82 mm warheads, multiple mortars and grenades, a machine gun, an assault rifle and assorted bomb-making materials.
— In Helmand province’s Garm Ser district, security forces detained several suspected insurgents they believe are associated with a drug cache found there. The cache consisted of 600 pounds of opium.
— In Ghazni province’s Ghazni district, troops detained three suspected Taliban weapons traffickers and found 40 grenades, an explosive device with 18 pounds of explosives and two assault rifles with ammunition.
— Security forces detained two militants with 617 pounds of dry opium at a vehicle checkpoint in Nimroz province’s Khash Rod district.
— Combined forces in Kunduz province’s Khanabad district captured two suspected insurgents possibly connected to a July 2010 bombing of a Kunduz City hotel.
— Afghan and coalition forces detained a suspected insurgent, while searching for a Taliban leader who is responsible for attacks on security forces in Jowjan province’s Shibirghan district.
— Forces found several other stockpiles of weapons and drugs. Operations resulted in the seizure of 220 pounds of assorted small-arms ammunition, 200 assault rifle rounds, 132 artillery projectiles, 57 pounds of homemade explosives, 20 hand grenades, 10 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two mortars, two assault rifles, two Afghan police uniforms, a pressure plate, a pistol, a rocket-propelled grenade round and a land mine. Also, troops found 550 pounds of marijuana, 80 pounds of black tar heroin and 30 pounds of crushed cold medicine.
In operations May 6:
— Security forces in Paktika province’s Bermal district killed several insurgents after their patrol was attacked by a group of armed militants. Troops used air support, artillery fire and small arms to repel the attack.
— Afghan and coalition forces killed an armed insurgent and captured two others in a firefight, while searching for a Taliban leader in Nangarhar province’s Behsud district.
— In Kandahar province’s Ghorak district, troops captured several suspected insurgents, while searching for a Taliban leader responsible for numerous enemy fighters and attacks throughout the area.
— Combined forces captured several suspected insurgents, while searching for an insurgent weapons trafficker in Logar province’s Baraki Barak district.
— Afghan and coalition forces detained several insurgents and confiscated weapons at a vehicle checkpoint in Logar province’s Pul‑e Alam district. The weapons included 20 rocket-propelled grenades, 16 assault rifles with 1,000 rounds of ammunition, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, an anti-aircraft machine gun, an automatic machine gun, a mortar system bipod, cell phones, Afghan army uniforms and U.S. Army combat uniforms.
— Security forces captured a Taliban leader and five of his associates in Baghdis province’s Qadis district.
— Forces in Kandahar province’s Panjawai district detained three suspected insurgents, while searching for an insurgent leader responsible for trafficking weapons and money and providing intelligence information for Kandahar and Zabul province Taliban networks.
— Based on information from local residents in Wardak province’s Chak‑e Wardak district, security forces captured two suspected insurgents, while searching for a Taliban leader responsible for kidnappings in the province’s Sayed Abad district.
— Afghan and coalition forces captured a Haqqani network terrorist and two suspected insurgents tied to weapons trafficking in Khost province’s Sabari district.
— Also in Khost province’s Sabari district, troops captured a Haqqani network terrorist responsible for coordinating bombing attacks on security forces.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases