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    Afghan Border Police finds homemade explosives, marks end to successful 2011

    ABP finds HME, marks end to successful 2011

    Photo By Sgt. Marc Loi | An Afghan Border Police officer tests the materials found Dec. 23 for homemade...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    504th Military Intelligence Brigade

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan – Third Afghan Border Police Quick Reaction Force seized more than 100 bags of homemade explosives during a patrol in Spin Boldak district in southern Afghanistan Dec. 22, demonstrating the growing power of this force.

    The find came just two days before Afghan National Security Forces found more than 11 tons of narcotics that would have helped terrorists buy weapons for the 2012 fighting season. It also serves as a hopeful sign for 2012, when the ABP and other factions of the Afghan National Security Forces for the first time will take over operations previously conducted by NATO and coalition forces. If 2011 – a year that saw the least amount of violent attacks in five years, according to the latest findings by the U.S.-backed Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan - is any indication, 2012 should see the ANSF take even larger strides as the security force and its government continues to provide safety and infrastructure to the people of Afghanistan.

    According to intelligence reports, as the number of Taliban fighters dwindle, those still committed to the fight often use illegal border crossings to get into Afghanistan. In response to this, ABP officers are charged with patrolling the border into Afghanistan. Though the officers started working jointly alongside NATO and coalition forces, in recent months, they have begun patrolling on their own, often only needing enabler forces to make their patrols run more smoothly.

    With many areas of Afghanistan still in extreme poverty and children’s basic needs unmet, ANSF personnel regularly drop off supplies at various villages and schools. Last week, government officials and ANSF personnel from Spin Boldak district visited Shadizi to pass out blankets, food and other necessities to the villagers. Located in northwestern Spin Boldak, the tiny farming village’s only sign of prosperity is a pump well, and while the mud hut that serves as its corner store was bustling with business during the ANSF’s visit, there are no schools available for children who, as young as 10, are tasked with taking care of younger siblings while their fathers work on the farms. That is a need ANSF and the government it serves hope to meet as well. In the Spin Boldak area alone, about 2,500 more children attended school in 2011, an increase from the 9,300 already attending school in 2010.

    “[Children] trust us to make better security for Afghanistan,” said ABP officer Zabihullah Roshan. “We say they must have education so they can solve their own problems.”

    Despite the progress the ANSF have made, there are still setbacks it needs to overcome before becoming fully self-sufficient. The force, as a whole, still lacks the logistical, communications and intelligence support it needs

    The officers who found the homemade explosives cache did not rely on sophisticated intelligence reports to find the explosives. Instead, they relied on word-of-mouth and the relationship they previously fostered with local villages and supporters, said ABP Sgt. Zaman Umahzina, the officer whose squad found the explosives.

    “We weren’t the only ones who found it,” Umahzina said. “There are a lot of people in the village, and everybody there found this thing. We’re appreciative of the villagers for giving us the information.”

    Though at times, it may take a village to defeat terrorist networks to ensure the security and prosperity of the war-torn country, Umahzina said should there ever be an instance when his fellow police officers need to stand up to defend their fellow Afghans, they will readily do so, despite certain dangers.

    “We can lose our lives fighting the enemies,” Umahzina said. “But we’re standing on the road to block them, and we’re not going to let them harm our country.”



    Date Taken: 12.30.2011
    Date Posted: 12.30.2011 05:24
    Story ID: 81899
    Location: SPIN BOLDAK, AF 

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