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US Troops in Afghanistan Find Weapons Cache, Detain 5 Men - 2002-06-22


U-S troops in Afghanistan have detained five men for questioning after finding them with weapons believed to be for Taleban and al-Qaida fighters.

A U-S military spokesman (Colonel Roger King) told reporters today (Saturday) at Bagram Air Base the rocket-powered grenades, mortar rounds and other weapons, along with the men, were discovered during a search around Gardez near the border with Pakistan.

In a separate find, the spokesman said U-S special forces came across a complex of six caves near Kandahar filled with mortar ammunition, mostly in poor condition. The mortars were destroyed.

U-S forces and their allies have been scouring the region in eastern Afghanistan for several months searching for hold-out enemy fighters.

On Friday, a senior U-N official said the mandate of the multinational security force in Afghanistan should be expanded to handle security concerns outside Kabul.

U-N Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast told the Security Council a limited expansion of the International Security Assistance Force should be considered because the Afghan government will not be able to provide security in the near future.

He says the need for greater security is underscored by a wave of recent attacks against international aid workers in northern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Hamid Karzai, the president of the country's temporary government, is expected to finish naming his cabinet today.

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