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    Afghan, coalition forces seize drug, weapons, kill dozens of militants in Helmand



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Forces Afghanistan

    KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan national army commandos of the 205th Corps assisted by coalition forces have killed 47 militants and have seized one of the largest drug caches to date during ongoing operations in the city of Marjeh, Nad Ali District, Helmand province.

    The Afghan and coalition forces launched an operation to disrupt activities in the key militant stronghold and narcotics hub, May 19.

    The total narcotics seized since operations began three days ago stands at 92,271 kilograms, including 16,850 kilograms of black tar opium, 38 kilograms of processed morphine, 201 kilograms of processed heroin, 182 kilograms of hashish and 75,000 kilograms of poppy seeds.

    The combined forces also seized an unprecedented amount of heroin processing materials, including 490 gallons of acidic anhydride, 240 kilograms of ammonium chloride, 1,450 kilograms of activated charcoal and 17,600 kilograms of soda ash.

    In addition to narcotics, the Afghan and coalition forces found large amounts of bomb-making materials in various buildings within the bazaar. The combined forces discovered 27,000 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, 700 gallons of diesel fuel, six pressure plate triggers, three improvised explosive device battery systems, and seven 40 pounds jugs of homemade explosive material prepared for detonation.

    The combined elements continued to find weapons throughout the bazaar, confirming that Marjeh is a hub of multiple types of militant activity. They found 44 blocks of military-grade explosives and various types of mortars, blasting caps and detonation cord. The friendly forces also found 120 ammunition vests, which are used by militants to carry bullets and are also modified into suicide bomber vests.

    All of the seized materials will be destroyed in order to prevent militants from profiting from the drug trade and to keep them from harming friendly forces and Afghan civilians.

    In addition, 13 enemy fighters were killed in air strikes this morning. No civilians we injured in the operation.

    "This will have a significant financial and logistical impact on the insurgency in southern Afghanistan," said USFOR-A spokesman Col. Greg Julian. "The commandos have done a phenomenal job and far exceeded the expectation for this operation."



    Date Taken: 05.19.2009
    Date Posted: 05.22.2009 11:38
    Story ID: 33966
    Location: KABUL, AF 

    Web Views: 1,000
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