Afghan, Coalition Forces Find Several Weapons Caches

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2010 - Afghan and coalition forces uncovered several weapons caches today during operations in Afghanistan's Helmand, Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces, military officials reported.

During a combined dismounted patrol in Helmand province, Afghan soldiers and International Security Assistance Force troops found a weapons cache in the Marjeh district. The cache consisted of 17 mortar round fuses, 15 82 mm mortar rounds, 16 shotgun shells, 850 7.62 mm rounds, one jug containing 50 pounds of an unknown substance, two empty directional fragmentation charge containers, two anti-tank mines, an improvised rocket launcher, one illuminating canister and three pressure plates.

In Uruzgan province, Afghan Army and ISAF forces found two caches in the Tarin Kot district. The first cache consisted of two motorcycle batteries buried in a rock wall. The second cache included 500 rounds of 5.56 mm, seven AK-47 magazines containing 265 7.62 mm rounds, two grenades, 10 grenade fuses and additional ammunition.

In Kandahar province, an ISAF patrol found a weapons cache consisting of 12 61 mm shells and nine 60 mm shells.

In other news today:

-- Coalition officials announced that Afghan soldiers with the 3rd Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps, working withAfghan police and coalition forces, conducted Operation Strong Resolve Nov. 13. The operation was an Afghan led, joint operation designed to reaffirm the Afghan government's influence and establish a permanent patrol base in the vicinity of Nabu Agha, Musa Qal'ah. Throughout the two-day operation, the Afghan soldiers and police engaged multiple targets. Using combined arms, the joint force killed seven insurgents and detained several others. The force also found and destroyed two improvised explosive devices.

-- Afghan and ISAF officials are investigating reported civilian casualty allegations after coalition forces fired mortar rounds in response to insurgent attacks near the village of Tantil in the Darah-ye Pech district of Kunar province. Initial reports indicate that three or four rounds landed in the village. The incident is currently under investigation. "We take civilian casualty allegations seriously and we do everything within our power to prevent civilian casualties in the course of operations," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.

In last night's operations:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a key Haqqani facilitator, who served as a liaison between Haqqani and Taliban operatives in northern Afghanistan, during an operation in Baghlan province. The facilitator was reportedly in contact with Pakistan-based senior leadership from both insurgent groups and was a top target for Afghan and coalition forces. Based on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a series of compounds in the Baghlan-e Jadid district to search for the facilitator. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully before the joint security force cleared and secured the area. Initial questioning at the scene helped identify the targeted individual, who was detained along with six of his associates. The security force also discovered and destroyed an automatic weapon and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher at the scene.

In yesterday's operations:

-- Afghan and coalition security forces conducted an operation to detain a senior Taliban leader in Now Zad district, Helmand province. The senior Taliban leader is a senior facilitator of improvised explosive devices and a key conduit of information and financial support between provincial senior Taliban leadership and senior Taliban leadership in Pakistan. He also planned, coordinated and executed improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. Multiple intelligence sources led the joint security force to the suspected location of the senior Taliban leader. Upon arrival at the location, the force immediately came under fire by two insurgents. The force returned fire, killing both insurgents. Upon surrounding the compound, Afghan forces called out all occupants in order to allow them to exit peacefully. A total of four men, five women and 10 children were protected. As the force entered the compound, three insurgents opened fire on them. The security force returned fire killing the three. The force then secured and searched the compound. During the search, several insurgents were detained, along with numerous automatic weapons, ammunition and 22 pounds of opium. After initial questioning, Afghan forces detained numerous insurgents for further questioning. It is currently being assessed whether the Taliban leader was one of the killed or detained insurgents. The weapons and opium were destroyed on site.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani network leader known to facilitate the movement of IED materials during an operation in Khost province. The targeted individual, who also coordinated IED attacks, is the 12th Haqqani network leader captured by Afghan and coalition forces in the province this month. Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound in Motuni in Terayzai district to search for the Haqqani leader. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully before the joint security force cleared and secured the area. Initial questioning at the scene helped identify the targeted individual, who was detained along with one of his associates. The assault force conducted the operation with no shots fired and they ensured the safety of the women and children throughout the search.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents during three operations aimed at capturing Taliban leadership throughout Afghanistan. All three operations were conducted peacefully and without civilian casualties. The security force has conducted more than 93 percent of their operations without shots fired this month. A joint security force detained two suspected insurgents during an operation targeting a Taliban foreign-fighter facilitator in Khash Rod district, Nimroz province. The targeted individual is directly associated with a Taliban network known for facilitating foreign fighters into Afghanistan through western Farah province. He is also considered an improvised explosive device specialist. A separate security force detained several suspected Taliban members associated with an IED leader in the Shah Joy district of Zabul province overnight. The targeted individual for the operation conducts and plans IED attacks against Afghan and coalition security members. He also is involved in kidnapping members of the Afghanistan government. The security team secured the targeted area in search of the Taliban leader. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully before conducting the search. The joint team detained the suspects based on initial questioning at the scene. In Logar province, Afghan and coalition forces detained a suspected insurgent during their search for an extremely active Taliban leader. The targeted individual is a weapons and IED expert for insurgents operating in Baraki Barak district. He also plans and executes attacks against coalition forces. The security force followed intelligence tips to a remote compound in Pul-e 'Alam district to search for the targeted individual. After an Afghan-led call out, the joint security force conducted the search and confiscated two bags of urea nitrate, often used to manufacture IEDs. After the area was secure, the joint team detained the suspected insurgent based on initial questioning at the scene.

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