Tuesday, June 23, 2009

OEF Summary, June 23, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Destroy Narcotics, Weapons Caches

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2009 -- Afghan army and public protection forces led several operations today and yesterday that removed drugs, weapons and explosives in eastern Afghanistan, military officials reported.

Afghan National Army commandos, assisted by coalition forces, destroyed a large weapons cache today in the Spira district of Khost province.

The Afghan-led force, assisted by coalition troops, was conducting a search-and-clear operation in the area when villagers reported the presence of the weapons cache. The team discovered rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds hidden in a mountainside cave.

Elsewhere, in the Chalikor Valley of Zabol province, the Afghan commandos and soldiers today discovered 1,100 pounds of opium and 1,600 pounds of ammonium nitrate while conducting clearing operations in an area known for militant activity.

The partnered forces destroyed the weapons and narcotic caches on site after ensuring the area was free of noncombatants.

Yesterday in Afghanistan:
  • Afghan National Army commandos and soldiers with Afghanistan’s 205th Corps seized 300 pounds of black-tar opium in Zabol province’s Chalikor valley while searching a well-known militant safe-haven. One man was detained without incident.

  • Afghan citizens approached a checkpoint and told Afghan Public Protection Force members they'd observed insurgents unloading multiple gallon jugs and placing a homemade bomb under a bridge during the night. The protection force secured the site until the Afghan National Police arrived to disconnect the bomb and recover the cell phone to which it was connected.

    It was the first use of the protection force in Wardak province’s Nerkh district.

  • Afghan national security forces, assisted by coalition forces, were conducting security operations in Khost province when they were approached by residents who informed them of homemade bombs emplaced in a school in the city of Porekah.

    Forces discovered that militants had placed four bombs in the building, three of which had detonated and damaged the school earlier in the day. The forces located, removed and disarmed the last bomb before it could explode.

In the skies over Afghanistan yesterday, 79 close-air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols. Twenty-two Air Force surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. In addition, two Navy aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan and Combined Air and Space Operations Center news releases.)

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