WASHINGTON – Afghan and international forces killed or detained suspected militants and found bomb-making materials, narcotics and weapons in recent operations, military officials reported.

A combined Afghan and international security force searched a compound in Kandahar province yesterday after confirmed reports of militant activity and captured a Taliban facilitator and other insurgents suspected of bomb and suicide attacks.

In Logar province last night, a force searched a compound, detained suspected insurgents and recovered explosive materials.

A combined force killed several insurgents while searching for a terrorist cell commander in a rural house in Paktika province yesterday. The assault force was met with an imminent threat and killed insurgents. The joint force also detained other militants and recovered multiple weapons, including automatic rifles.

Also yesterday, an Afghan turned in 68 Russian 82 mm mortar grenades to international forces at a base in Regional Command West. Since Oct. 1, officials said, about 150 Afghans have received cash rewards for reporting weapons caches or providing tips leading to the recovery of multiple weapons.

In other news, a combined force discovered a truck with 10 tons of fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient of homemade explosives, in Kandahar province today. The troops destroyed the fertilizer, returned the truck to the owner and compensated him for the fertilizer.

In September 2009, officials said, international forces received permission from the Afghan government to confiscate ammonium nitrate fertilizers being kept or transported in Afghanistan. Farmers are urged to use fertilizers containing urea nitrate as an alternative.

International air and ground forces netted more than 6,000 pounds of illegal drugs in the Maiwand district of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province Jan. 6 after scouts observed a suspicious vehicle attempting to evade them.

The team kept an eye on the fleeing vehicle while relaying the information to nearby soldiers. The truck stopped as the soldiers moved to intercept it, and both occupants fled to nearby cover. The scouts guided the soldiers to the truck and the two men, who were hiding a short distance away.

A search of the truck revealed more than 5,300 pounds of processed opium, more than 1,000 pounds of wet opium paste, about 50 pounds of heroin and multiple firearms with ammunition. The suspects were detained, and the drugs were destroyed on site.

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