KABUL, Afghanistan — A blockade of the Marjaneh bazaar threatening to starve Waza Khawa residents into supporting the insurgency ended recently thanks to Afghan National Police (ANP) and ISAF soldiers from a U.S. infantry company.
The blockade began in early June, with insurgents using a combination of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and indirect and small-arms fire in an effort to keep food shipments and coalition forces away from the area, said U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek, 3–187 Infantry Regiment spokesman.
In response, coalition forces began construction of a checkpoint June 9.
During the construction process, ANP, Afghan National Army (ANA) and U.S. soldiers provided security. The checkpoint was completed June 28.
In the first two weeks of construction, security forces engaged in several firefights with insurgents who were attempting to attack and destroy the checkpoint with rockets, mortars, recoilless rifles, IEDs, rocket-propelled grenades, and small-arms fire.
Each attack by the insurgents had the same result — combined forces maneuvering on the attackers and forcing them to flee — leaving behind their weapons and equipment.
Afghan security forces continue to thwart insurgents’ efforts to blockade the bazaar. Convoys now roll into Waza Khawa unscathed, and shop owners are able to restock their shelves and resume business. Waza Khawa Sub-Governor Mohamed Ramazan held a shura in Marjaneh June 28 to discuss the opening of the checkpoint and the overall security situation in the district.
ANA and ANP members provided security as Ramazan gathered the people of the bazaar to discuss the future of Marjaneh and stress the importance of education and support for the government.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases