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50-IED cache found by UK and Afghan troops in Helmand

April 13, 2011

Afghan soldiers working alongside British forces have dealt a heavy blow to the insurgency in central Helmand by discovering a deadly stash of bomb-making equipment and weaponry, including 50 improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The main explosive charge of an improvised explosive device found during the joint UK and Afghan National Army operation (Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011)

The weapons haul, retrieved from two bomb-making factories in northern Nad ‘Ali, is one of the largest made during 16 Air Assault Brigade’s six-month tour, and came as the unit prepared to hand over command of Task Force Helmand to 3 Commando Brigade on Saturday 9 April.

38kg of explosives, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers, bomb-making paraphernalia and drugs were among the items discovered during the joint Afghan National Army and UK operation, which also involved Estonian troops.

Military commanders believe the action will significantly disrupt the insurgency.

Major Matthew Cansdale, Officer Commanding the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said:

“This is some of the most sophisticated equipment we’ve seen, and we found a large amount of it. It appears that these people were highly skilled operatives who no doubt supplied their equipment to people across Helmand. Had it been left in the hands of the insurgents, it could have had truly devastating consequences.”

To read what items either removed for analysis or destroyed by the ISAF and Afghan forces, click HERE.

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