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Afghan raid nets huge weapons cache

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Thousands of rockets, mortars, and antiaircraft ammunition have been seized in central Afghanistan in the largest cache of militant weapons discovered in months, a government spokesman said yesterday.

The arms were to be used to subvert crucial legislative elections on Sept. 18, said General Mohammed Saher Azimi, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.

The raid in Ghazni Province's Khogyani district Saturday netted some 2,000 surface-to-surface rockets, 3,000 mortar rounds, 500 artillery shells, and 100 boxes of antiaircraft shells, he said.

''The enemy planned to use them to sabotage the elections," Azimi said. ''This was a very important operation to prevent the killing of civilians."

He declined to give any other details about the find, including whether anyone had been arrested.

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