Afghanistan — Coalition Troops Respond to Afghan Market Bombing

WASHINGTON — Afghan and coali­tion forces respond­ed to a bomb­ing attack at a bazaar in south­ern Afghanistan’s Hel­mand province today, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.
Ini­tial reports indi­cate eight Afghan civil­ians were wound­ed when a home­made bomb det­o­nat­ed as the bazaar was open­ing.

Afghan and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force troops pro­vid­ed ini­tial med­ical care to the injured and lat­er evac­u­at­ed them to a med­ical facil­i­ty for addi­tion­al treat­ment. In oth­er oper­a­tions in Afghanistan:
— A com­bined team of Afghan and inter­na­tion­al forces cap­tured a Tal­iban bomb mak­er and two oth­er mil­i­tants last night in north­west­ern Kan­da­har City.
— Also in Kan­da­har City yes­ter­day, ISAF forces dis­cov­ered a weapons cache con­tain­ing six 102 mm artillery shells, six mor­tars and a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade.
— While patrolling in Helmand’s Nad‑e Ali dis­trict yes­ter­day, ISAF forces saw a yel­low jug pro­trud­ing from the ground, which turned out to be packed with 40 pounds of explo­sives. The bomb was destroyed.
— An ISAF patrol met with Afghan police in the Kan­da­har province’s Spin Boldak dis­trict yes­ter­day to retrieve 42 mines, two receiver/transmitters and a bag full of mis­cel­la­neous bomb elec­tron­ics police had secured at a check­point.
— In Helmand’s Now Zad dis­trict yes­ter­day, an ISAF patrol found a rock­et and some home­made explo­sives in an open field.
— In the Bala Morghab area of Badghis province, an Afghan civil­ian turned in an anti-tank mine to an ISAF patrol.

No shots were fired, and no Afghan civil­ians were harmed dur­ing the oper­a­tions, offi­cials said.

In oth­er news from Afghanistan, an Afghan-inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty force recent­ly cap­tured a Tal­iban cell leader who had plant­ed bombs in and around a school in Kan­da­har, offi­cials report­ed yes­ter­day.

The com­bined force had received intel­li­gence that a Tal­iban bomb­ing cell was oper­at­ing around Kuhak in Kan­da­har province. Dur­ing the sub­se­quent oper­a­tion, the secu­ri­ty force cap­tured the Tal­iban leader and sev­er­al oth­er cell mem­bers.

A search of the area uncov­ered com­mand det­o­na­tion wires in a field across the road from a Kuhak school. The com­bined patrol fol­lowed the com­mand wires and dis­cov­ered nine buried bombs. Four were buried on the side of the road run­ning beside the school, two were buried out­side the school’s gate, and three were uncov­ered in the court­yard where the school’s stu­dents con­gre­gate.

ISAF explo­sive experts said numer­ous casu­al­ties would like­ly have occurred if the bombs had been det­o­nat­ed while school was in ses­sion. ISAF forces dug up and safe­ly removed the bombs that were plant­ed around the school and in the court­yard. The bombs that were plant­ed along the road­side were deter­mined to be too dan­ger­ous to move and were blown up in place.

U.N. reports have not­ed that the vast major­i­ty of civil­ian casu­al­ties in Afghanistan are the result of insur­gent bombs, ISAF offi­cials said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)