OEF Update, June 5, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Nab 7 Suspected Militants, Destroy Explosives Cache
Dispatches from the Front:
KABUL, Afghanistan, June 5, 2009 -- Afghan and coalition forces raided a compound in Helmand province overnight, detaining seven men with suspected ties to Taliban operations in Helmand and Farah.
In Helmand province, in a rural area south of Marjeh, combined forces conducted an operation to locate and detain a foreign fighter facilitator who operates in Nad Ali District. In exchange for security to operate his narcotics trafficking business, he provides financial support to the Taliban. Removing this known criminal will disrupt Taliban operations, improving security for citizens in and around Marjeh.
Acting on intelligence sources, Afghan and coalition forces patrolled to the village where the targeted militant purportedly was staying. After eliminating an initial threat to the joint team, Afghan forces called for all non-combatants to exit the compound peacefully.
Without further incident, forces detained seven suspected militants. Two AK-47 assault rifles, one shotgun and a chest rack were also removed.
Afghan and coalition forces discovered a large amount of explosive material inside one of the buildings. Due to the volatility of the material, the commander on the ground determined it needed to be destroyed in-place, as it represented a danger to the local populace but could not be moved safely. The subsequent controlled detonation to eliminate the explosive material destroyed the structure. All civilians were directed to an area where they would remain safe during the blast.
No Afghan, coalition forces or non-combatant casualties were reported during this operation.
(From a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release.)
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