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Massive weapons haul
Australian Special Forces and their Afghan partners uncovered a
cache so big they had to send for more explosives to destroy it,
Lt Adrian Miller reports.
Security Forces and
members of the Special
Operations Task Group
have discovered the largest weap-
ons and munitions cache in the
history of the SOTG.
The cache, found during an
intelligence-led cordon and search
mission in the Tarin Kot district of
Uruzgan province, included more
than 100,000 rounds of ammuni-
tion, 400 RPG rockets, 200 AK-47
magazines, 100 bayonets, 30 rifles,
five RPG launch units, four RPG
fuel cells, three missiles and three
shoulder-launched HEAT rockets.
It is believed to be the larg-
est weapons and munitions cache
discovered by Australian Special
Forces in Afghanistan.
Due to the size of the cache,
engineers had to send for more
explosives to be sure of destroying
CO SOTG Lt-Col J said insur-
gents had gone to great lengths to
hide the weaponry.
"The compound contained a
hidden room with the door sealed
over with concrete, so it was obvi-
ous the owners placed a high value
on what was inside," he said.
"All soldiers on the ground,
and the engineers especially, did a
remarkable job in finding the cache
as it was extremely well hidden."
Lt-Col J said the destruction of
the munitions would be a massive
blow to the insurgency.
"That amount of weaponry
takes a very long time to acquire
and costs a lot of money," he said.
"By finding and destroying that
cache we have reduced the ability
of the insurgents to fight their sum-
"This mission is the per-
fect example of the ability of the
ANSF and SOTG to degrade insur-
gent leadership lines of funding
with the door
sealed over with
-- CO SOTG Lt-Col J
Firepower: SOTG personnel prepare the contents of the cache for demolition. Inset, the weapons and
munitions were hidden in a room with the door sealed with concrete.
1) RPG rockets are found buried inside the
hidden room. A total of 400 RPG rockets
and five RPG launchers and four RPG
fuel cells were uncovered in the cache.
1) Three AT-4 anti-tank rockets are among
the weapons uncovered. The shoulder-
launched high-explosive anti-tank
rockets can have a devastating affect on
3) The find included several rifles, 200
AK-47 magazines, 100 bayonets and
more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition.
INSURGENT LEADERS DETAINED
SOTG and Afghan personnel have
captured several insurgent command-
ers and bomb makers in operations
Among the insurgents captured are
people believed to be responsible for
a suicide bombing in Tarin Kot on May
20 in which two coalition soldiers were
killed and eight others were wounded.
CO SOTG Lt-Col J said the captured
insurgents were likely to have been
involved in a range of activities through-
out the province.
"The insurgents detained are sus-
pected of being experienced IED build-
ers, including suicide bombs -- and
facilitators," he said.
"One was also likely involved in the
procurement of materials for explosive
"By removing key leaders from their
positions of command we are continu-
ing to disrupt insurgent networks, which
is reducing their effectiveness and mak-
ing Uruzgan province safer," Lt-Col J
"We are likely to see the halting of
operations and a reduction in the fre-
quency of insurgent attacks because of
the loss of these commanders."
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