Search  
Click Here!    
Good Morning America World News Tonight 20/20 Primetime Nightline WNN This Week
March 22, 2003
 
HOMEPAGE
NEWS SUMMARY
US
INTERNATIONAL
MONEYScope
WEATHER
LOCAL NEWS
ENTERTAINMENT
ESPN SPORTS
SCI / TECH
POLITICS
HEALTH
TRAVEL
FEATURED SERVICES
RELATIONSHIPS
SHOPPING
DOWNLOADS
WIRELESS
INTERACT
VIDEO & AUDIO
BOARDS
CHAT
NEWS ALERTS
CONTACT ABC
Great Skiing and Riding! (Ad Served by Mediaplex)


(AP Photo)
U.S. Forces Seize Afghan Weapons Cache
U.S. Forces Seize Large Weapons Cache in Afghanistan, Three Afghan Soldiers Killed

The Associated Press


Print This Page
Email This Page
See Most Sent
Marine Scouts Wait for Second Push Into Iraq
Praise, Protests, Threats: Reaction Around the World
Satellites Give U.S. Missiles Dead-on Aim
March 22

BAGRAM, Afghanistan U.S. troops seized a large cache of weapons, including hundreds of mortars, rockets and land mines, and detained four suspects on Saturday during a sweep in southern Afghanistan, an official said.

The cache was found inside several buildings in a walled compound near the southern Sami Ghar mountains, where hundreds of U.S.-led troops are hunting for terror suspects in a broad new operation, said Lt. Col. Michael Shields, a senior operations officer of the coalition task force.

"To put it in perspective, we're still counting," Shields said, calling it the largest find in months. "In recent history, the size of this is significant."

The seizure came as suspected Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami renegades killed three Afghan soldiers at a post elsewhere in the southern Kandahar province.

The soldiers were trudging through the muddy, rugged terrain to pursue intelligence about other suspected weapons caches in nearby caves and mountains, he said.

The troops also arrested two suspected rebels near the weapons cache, Shields said, though he declined to provide further details.

The cache included hundreds of rocket-propelled grenade launchers and rounds, high-caliber machine guns, mortar rounds, anti-tank and anti-personnel mines and "too much ammunition of all caliber to count currently," Shields said.

Operation Valiant Strike the latest U.S. offensive in the war on terror in Afghanistan is being conducted in villages and caves in southern Kandahar province, Shields said.

The operation began Thursday as an intensified search for Taliban, al-Qaida and loyalists of renegade rebel leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom U.S. authorities have branded a terrorist.

No exchanges of fire or coalition injuries have been reported in the operation, Army officials said.

Troops also apprehended two other suspected rebels and seized a much smaller cache of ammunition and light machine guns on Friday, Army spokesman Col. Roger King said earlier.

Shields said that smaller cache included documents that referred to regional leaders of rebel forces. He declined to give further details.

In the attack Saturday, gunmen opened fire on an Afghan army post in the southern province of Kandahar, killing three Afghan soldiers, a senior Afghan government official said.

The gunmen traded fire with soldiers in the Wath army post, about 20 miles south of Spinboldak, for about an hour, then fled, said Fazaluddin Agha, the head of administration in Spinboldak district, near the border with Pakistan. He said they were believed to be from the former Taliban regime or with the radical Muslim group Hizb-e-Islami.

Separately, Afghan soldiers on the U.S.-led sweep seized bombs, guns and ammunition and arrested 13 people said to be linked to the former Taliban regime, Abdul Raziq, police chief of Spinboldak district, where part of the search was conducted.

Authorities were questioning the men five of whom admitted having links with the Taliban, he said.

"They have made confessions and we have got proof" of their connection to the Taliban, according to Raziq, adding papers in the men's possession proved the links. He would not provide any details.

"We have got information about other friends of these people and are looking to arrest them," Raziq added. He said U.S. forces and about 100 Afghan troops were patrolling the border areas with Pakistan in Spinboldak for Taliban remnants.

About 600 ground troops began Valiant Strike Thursday about 60 miles east of the city of Kandahar, King said. Romanian infantry also were taking part. Apache attack helicopters and up to 400 support personnel backed the ground forces.

"The whole idea is never to let the enemy rest long enough to reorganize, regroup, recruit or retrain," King said.


photo credit and caption:
A U.S. Army personnel shows part of cache of weapons and ammunition recovered during "Operation Valiant Strike" in Sami Ghar Mountain Range, southeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Saturday March 22, 2003. The operation by coalition forces, the latest U.S. offensive in the war on terror in Afghanistan, continues in the villages and caves in southern Kandahar province(AP Photo/ U.S. Army, POOL)

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
Sponsored by Alamo
  RELATED STORIES
International Index
More Raw News
 
 INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES
Baghdad Braces for Further Strikes
Troops Capture Taliban Rebels and Arms
France Working on Saddam Exile Deal?
Could Saddam's Elite Troops Be Defecting?
Marines Get Warm Welcome in Iraqi Town

 


Copyright 2003 ABCNEWS Internet Ventures.
Click here for:  HELP   ADVERTISER INFO   CONTACT ABC   TOOLS   PR   TERMS OF USE   PRIVACY POLICY

Family of sites:      ABC.com        ABC Family        ESPN.com        Disney.com        FamilyFun.com        GO Mail        Movies.com