Later On

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EXCELLENT news

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I generally don’t comment on war news, but this is exceptional. Dexter Filkins in the NY Times:

With fertilizer bombs now the most lethal weapons used against American and NATO soldiers in southern Afghanistan, the bomb-making operation in Kandahar was something close to astonishing.

In a pair of raids on Sunday, Afghan police officers and American soldiers discovered a half-million pounds of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that is used in the overwhelming majority of homemade bombs here. About 2,000 bomb-making devices like timers and triggers were also found, and 15 Afghans were detained.

With a typical homemade bomb weighing no more than 60 pounds, the seizure of that much fertilizer — more than 10 tractor-trailer loads — removed potentially thousands of bombs from the streets and trails of southern Afghanistan, officials said.

“You can turn a bag of ammonium nitrate into a bomb in a matter of hours,” said Col. Mark Lee, who leads NATO’s effort to stop the bomb makers in southern Afghanistan. “This is a great first step.”

The operation in the southern city of Kandahar, which was announced Tuesday, is by far the largest of its type. Ammonium nitrate is illegal in Afghanistan; farmers here are allowed to use other types of fertilizer, like those that are urea-based, on their crops. Most of the ammonium nitrate fertilizer in Afghanistan is believed to be imported from Pakistan.

Ammonium nitrate has long been used as both a fertilizer and an explosive. Timothy J. McVeigh and Terry L. Nichols used a 600-pound ammonium nitrate bomb, mixed with fuel oil, to attack the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The attack killed 168 people…

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Written by Leisureguy

10 November 2009 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Afghanistan War

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