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Kiwis Destroy Fifth Afghanistan Weapons Cache

13 January 2005

Kiwis Destroy Fifth Afghanistan Weapons Cache

New Zealand Defence Force's WODR Brian Kino at work

The New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZ PRT) working in Afghanistan has discovered and destroyed a fifth cache of weapons, including rockets, mortar rounds and anti tank mines.

The munitions cache was cleared North-west of Dashte Safed in the Kahmard Valley of the Bamyan province. The PRT was initially given information about the cache in November, however their search was unsuccessful due to it being buried underground.

Anti tank mines inside cave

After receiving information, and with the help of local workers, Kiwi Team Two lead by New Zealand Army Major Mark Taylor, dug into a hillside to find and remove the buried munitions which were in two caverns, each approximately 3 metres high by 10 metres long. Three trucks were required to transport the cache to the NZPRT, where it was sorted and disposed of by Navy Munitions Technician, Warrant Officer Brian Kino.

Local workers removing rock from the entrance to the cache after digging through the rubble

The cache is the fifth the NZPRT has lifted in the last five months, and its removal, says Captain Mike Shepherd, is " just one more step towards making Bamyan a safer and more secure province - for both New Zealand forces working in the region, and the local people.

Removing the cache from a feared and powerful local leader not only makes the province a safer place, but it also sends a good message to the people that we will act on information that they give us."

ENDS

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