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Bomb-making stash seized in Afghanistan

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 500,000 lbs. of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, 5,000 components found
  • Materials and equipment key components in making roadside bombs
  • 15 people detained after raid on warehouse in Kandahar
  • ISAF spokesman says raid "a tremendous success"

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Security forces in southern Afghanistan seized a huge stash of bomb-making material, NATO's International Security Assistance Force reported Tuesday.

Afghan National Police and ISAF forces found 500,000 lbs. of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and 5,000 components used in making roadside bombs during a raid Sunday in Kandahar.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer-- illegal in Afghanistan -- is "a key ingredient of homemade explosives and used in the majority of main charges" for roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices, ISAF said.

Forces discovered 1,000 100-lb. bags of fertilizer in a warehouse and detained 15 people. The patrol later found another 4,000 100-lb. bags of fertilizer nearby in a compound.

"This was a tremendous success for the Afghan National Police who led this operation," said ISAF spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician. "This find will undoubtedly save many lives and points to the increasing capability of the Afghan national security forces."

Roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices, have plagued Afghan and international forces working to battle Taliban militants. ISAF said the latest fatality from a roadside bomb came Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, when a U.S. service member died in an IED strike.

ISAF also reported Tuesday another operation in Helmand province that led to detentions and the seizure of IED-making materials and bomb-making manuals.