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Diggers Discover Explosive Caches And IED's

Diggers Discover Explosive Caches And Improvised Explosive Devices In Southern Afghanistan

Australian Defence Force soldiers conducting operations in southern Afghanistan have uncovered a major cache of explosives during a series of routine search operations over the past week.

The cache, one of 10 significant finds discovered over the last few weeks, was uncovered on Friday (6 November 2009) containing 93 individual pieces of military grade explosives – about 23 kilograms in weight.

Other caches, uncovered during the period, held a variety of weapons, ammunition and explosives, including a number of 107mm rockets.

Engineers from the 2nd Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF-2) also disposed of a number of carefully concealed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) discovered by patrols in locations north of Tarin Kowt over the past week.

The Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle East, Major General Mark Kelly, says the cache and IED finds represent another success for the people of Oruzgan Province.

“Every time we uncover weapons and munitions caches and IEDs like these, we are potentially depriving those who wish to maim and kill innocent people of the means to do so,” Major General Kelly said.

Major General Kelly said that the removal of explosive material would improve the safety and security for all Afghan people in Oruzgan and for the Coalition troops who are working alongside their Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) colleagues.

“This hidden materiel is used to make IEDs. As the insurgents’ weapon of choice, they are used to indiscriminately target innocent Afghan civilians and Coalition forces,” Major General Kelly said.

“These finds and our ongoing operations with the ANSF, highlight the commitment of Australian forces in Oruzgan to support the ISAF mission of protecting the Afghan population.”

ENDS

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