Forces Make Drug Sweep, Take Out Insurgents in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2011 — Com­bined Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty forces made a major drug sweep and killed numer­ous insur­gent fight­ers in sep­a­rate oper­a­tions yes­ter­day in Afghanistan, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

In Hel­mand province’s Baghran dis­trict, Afghan and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force mem­bers con­duct­ed what is believed to be the largest-ever nar­cotics seizure by com­bined forces in Afghanistan.

The com­bined team, act­ing on intel­li­gence, tar­get­ed an area believed to be man­u­fac­tur­ing drugs used to finance lethal aid to be used against Afghan and coali­tion forces. The secu­ri­ty force dis­cov­ered three nar­cotics lab­o­ra­to­ries con­tain­ing drugs with an esti­mat­ed street val­ue of more than $350 mil­lion.

The force destroyed the nar­cotics labs, along with about 1,800 gal­lons of mor­phine solu­tion, 220 pounds of hero­in, 176 pounds of opi­um, and 26,500 pounds of chem­i­cals used to process nar­cotics, as well as drug pro­cess­ing equip­ment.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James B. Laster, head of joint oper­a­tions at ISAF Joint Com­mand, said the seizure would dis­rupt insur­gents’ abil­i­ty to attack. “We are com­mit­ted to ensur­ing a more secure and sta­ble future for the peo­ple of Afghanistan,” he said.

Also yes­ter­day, a com­bined secu­ri­ty force killed numer­ous insur­gents dur­ing an oper­a­tion in search of a senior Tal­iban leader in the east­ern bor­der province of Nan­garhar. The man is want­ed for orches­trat­ing mul­ti­ple direct fire and bomb attacks against Afghan forces.

Dur­ing the oper­a­tion, the force observed mul­ti­ple insur­gents armed with rock­et-pro­pelled grenade launch­ers and assault rifles maneu­ver­ing to attack. The force engaged the threat, killing the insur­gents. Numer­ous addi­tion­al sus­pects were detained.

In oth­er ISAF news yes­ter­day:

— Com­bined forces dis­cov­ered two drug caches in the Zharay dis­trict of Kan­da­har province. The caches con­tained 308 pounds of cannabis, 88 pounds of pop­py seeds and 506 pounds of hashish. The secu­ri­ty force seized the drugs for safe dis­pos­al at a lat­er date.

— Also in Zharay, a com­bined force found and destroyed an impro­vised explo­sive device, 132 pounds of home­made explo­sives, two rifles and two 82 mm rounds.

— A com­bined patrol detained an insur­gent leader in Helmand’s Qalah dis­trict. The man is known to orga­nize IED and sui­cide bomb attacks and to sup­ply weapons to insur­gents.

— In Helmand’s Now Zad dis­trict, a com­bined force detained mul­ti­ple sus­pect­ed insur­gents while search­ing for an insur­gent who reports to Pak­istan-based Tal­iban lead­er­ship. Forces seized mul­ti­ple weapons and drugs in the oper­a­tion, includ­ing a 40 mm grenade launch­er and grenades and 50 pounds of black tar hero­in.

— In the Ghazi­abad dis­trict of Kunar province, a com­bined force seized 14 assault rifles, 50 fus­es, five radios and 42 shot­guns.

— In the Pul-e Alam dis­trict of Log­ar province, a com­bined force detained mul­ti­ple insur­gents while search­ing for a Tal­iban fight­er respon­si­ble for vehi­cle-borne IED attacks in the region.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es