From the event

25 Feb. 2009
PR# 2009-190

Dangerous munitions safely destroyed by ANFS

KABUL, Afghanistan - International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) engineers assisted the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Police in the destruction of nearly 70 items of dangerous, unexploded munitions in a series of controlled explosions 21 February at the police headquarters in Lashkar Gah and at the Kandahar Gate area on the outskirts of the town.

The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) operating in this area found and seized numerous weapons, munitions and unexploded ordnance stemming from the insurgency as well as legacy items from previous conflicts.

As part of continuing efforts to make these items safe, British Royal Engineers were called in to assist in the destruction of the more dangerous and unstable items.

The items included 107mm rockets, mortar shells, anti-vehicle and anti-personnel mines, rocket-propelled grenade warheads and propellant, recoilless-rifle rounds and projectiles.

ANSF provided a security cordon in the area to keep the local population at a safe distance whilst Royal Engineers from 33rd Engineer Regiment carefully moved the most unstable items to a safe area of the headquarters compound before destroying them.

To prevent disturbing the area with further explosions, the remaining items, which were safe enough to be moved, were loaded by Afghan and ISAF forces into vehicles and driven to the Kandahar Gate area of Lashkar Gah. They were then destroyed in a number of safely controlled explosions.

“The Afghan Security Forces are increasingly having to deal with these potentially deadly weapons and unexploded munitions to protect the local population and we were happy to assist them in the safe destruction of nearly 70 items,” said Captain Ben Sinclair, 33rd Engineers regiment (EOD), Royal Engineers. “These sorts of munitions were old, damaged and unstable – they posed a significant threat to local civilians who could easily have come across them during their normal daily business. In addition, such weapons could have been used by the insurgency in the form of IEDs – the sort of indiscriminate tactics which have been killing and maiming Afghan and ISAF security forces and all too often, Afghan civilians too.”

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