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Military hazardous materials teams were mobilized earlier this week in Afghanistan to deal with a potential chemical problem at a forward operating base in the southern part of the country, officials said Wednesday.

HAZMAT teams from the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, of Task Force Spartan, were called to Forward Operating Base Bardez on May 19.

Officials say the chemicals were delivered to the base as part of a program sponsored by local Afghan officials to allow local citizens to dispose of hazardous waste.

“This is the first time a large quantity of chemicals was turned in as part of a program sponsored by the governor. Some of the materials were stored in wooden crates and spilled or leaked onto adjacent property. The hazardous materials were identified as a variety of liquid acids used in the chemical production of opiates,” according to a news release from the U.S. military command in Kabul.

The HAZMAT teams “isolated the materials from the surrounding environment,” the release read, in an effort to keep any potentially hazardous materials from seeping into the ground.

The teams are preparing to move the material to a hazardous materials disposal site elsewhere in the country, officials said.

“We’re ensuring the hazardous materials are cleaned up so they don’t harm the people of Gardez and Paktya Province,” said Army Maj. John G. Buck, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion executive officer.

It was unclear Wednesday as to who dropped off the materials, or how the materials were being held.

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