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Biggest Arms Cache Yet Found in Afghanistan Is Destroyed

October 05, 2002|From Associated Press

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — U.S. troops have destroyed the largest cache of explosives yet found in Afghanistan: hundreds of 500-pound bombs buried in a dry riverbed near Kandahar, the military said Friday.

The cache of 420 air-to-ground bombs was found in the Dori River channel last month, but it took munitions experts weeks to examine the explosives and decide how to proceed, Air Force Maj. Steve Clutter said at Bagram air base, the U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan.

After evacuating residents, demolition teams used 30,000 pounds of C-4 explosive to destroy the bombs in a single blast Thursday. Army photos of the explosion showed a huge mushroom cloud.

Clutter said he was unsure how the troops discovered the bombs or when they were buried.

Experts determined that the bombs were not stable enough to be moved and decided to string them together with explosives to destroy them all at once, Army Maj. Richard Patterson said. Troops warned village elders about the demolition, and an aircraft was sent to patrol the area around the blast, he said.

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