Bagram Media Support Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Aug. 26, 2010) – Insurgent-related attacks have been responsible for the deaths of two Afghan civilians and serious injuries to 35 more within the last seven days, despite the holy month of Ramadan.
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Below are highlights of some of these attacks that occurred within six of the 14 provinces in Regional Command-East.
On Aug. 21, an improvised explosive device exploded in Paktika Province, killing an Afghan child and wounding four civilians and two Afghan Border Patrol personnel. Coalition forces reported six wounded Afghans showed up at Forward Operating Base Orgun E for medical treatment. Coalition Forces investigated the site of the attack and found one Afghan child had died of wounds. The insurgents were targeting the ABP.
On Aug. 23 in Logar Province, one Afghan child was killed and another wounded by Taliban insurgents. During a patrol, Coalition forces came under attack, receiving small-arms and rocket-propelled grenades. Coalition forces noticed three local children were watching from a bridge nearby when the attack occurred. The unit did not return fire but instead moved one of their vehicles to position it between the insurgent gunfire and the children. Two of the children had already been shot by insurgents. The unit medically evacuated the children along with their father to Forward Operating Base Shank where one child later died of his wounds.
On Aug. 24 in Paktika Province, seven Afghan citizens were wounded by an IED. Three of the wounded were treated by a Coalition forces medic, while the other four were treated at a local clinic.
The latest attacks continue to underscore the steady increase in the number of Afghan civilians being killed and injured daily since Mullah Omar attempted to gain control of the Taliban by issuing a ‘code of conduct.’
In addition to the deaths and injuries inflicted from daily attacks, Taliban fighters have employed threats and intimidation in an attempt to derail the Sept. 18, 2010 Parliamentary elections that are designed to improve the representation of Afghan civilians and make the region safer.
To find a practical example of these tactics, you need look no further than the Nerkh district in Wardak province. Taliban fighters have allegedly issued a warning to the local civilians that if they catch anyone voting in the elections they will cut off that person’s fingers. Taliban fighters have said they will “inspect the fingers of individuals returning to their villages to see if there is ink still on their fingers.” They plan on conducting these inspections on the day of, and days following, the elections since it (ink) takes a couple of days to wear off. Taliban fighters have vowed to use a bayonet from an AK-47 to “chop the fingers off onto the ground.”
While such threats have failed to derail elections in the past, it is important to note that the potential mutilation of anyone is a direct violation of the established guidelines that Mullah Omar’s Taliban fighters are obliged to obey.
In Chapter Nine ‘Official Forbiddance’ of The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s guidance titled: A Book of Rules released on Sept. 10, 2009, it is clearly written that “Mutilation is strictly forbidden in sacred Islamic Sharia. Therefore, Mujahideen are instructed to strictly stay away from such Practices.”
Furthermore, according to Mullah Omar’s own recently-issued addendum to the code of conduct, Article 78 clearly directs that “The mujahidin are duty-bound to show good character and Islamic behavior to the nation. They should win the hearts of Muslims at large. As mujahidin, they should be such a representative of the Islamic Emirate that all the countrymen welcome them and the countrymen provide them with cooperation and support.”
“Frankly, it’s really not surprising that we see examples of the Taliban threatening to engage in such barbaric actions against their own people,” said Maj. Patrick Seiber, Combined Joint Task Force – 101 and Regional Command – East spokesperson. “We see over and over how they will typically say one thing and do another. There is no command authority that has any control over them present on the ground in Afghanistan. Somewhere there is a disconnect. The Taliban we interdict every day, killing and injuring their fellow Afghan civilians, are definitely not interested in following any ‘code of conduct’,” added Seiber.
One way that Afghan citizens can take charge and increase their own security is by anonymously notifying International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) of the presence of explosives and munitions in their neighbourhoods that are used by Taliban fighters to injure and kill them.
The Rewards Program enables local Afghans to save lives throughout eastern Afghanistan by providing information leading to the collection of dangerous weapons, explosives and insurgents. Since the beginning of August, Regional Command East has paid out more than $70,000 in reward money to local citizens who provided information on weapons storage facilities, IEDs, and key insurgent leaders. This information led to the discovery of items typically used to harm Afghan civilians, Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition Forces, including 25 IEDs and 33 weapons caches.
One of the largest caches reported this month revealed more than 240 82mm mortar shells, 133 107mm rockets and 97 other munitions of varying types. Once complete, this action could earn the Afghans who called up to $30,000.
Since last October, RC-E has actively promoted the Rewards program and encouraged local members of the community to call in to their Community Safety Lines to provide information. Afghan civilians interested in cleaning up their communities should call their individual district phone numbers that are available at the local governance centers.
“We have collected what would be extremely valuable to the insurgents in IEDs, IED making materials, and unexploded ordinance. Since the program began, we have prevented thousands of deaths or injuries to innocent civilians, Afghan National Security Forces, and Coalition Forces,” said Chief Warrant Officer Steve Mehl, Rewards Program chief, Regional Command East.
“We will continue to actively promote this program because it is saving lives and making the local communities safer for Afghan families,” Mehl said.
In: Afghanistan, Middle East
Tags: , Afghanistan, air force, USAF, military, army, USA, soldier, war, marine, USMC, service, sailor, USN, navy, bomb, Taliban, insurgent, insurgency, isaf, we
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