WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2010 — A combined team of Afghan and International Security Assistance Force officials left Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul today to perform an initial assessment of a shooting incident in western Afghanistan yesterday.
The shooting left two ISAF servicemembers, an Afghan National Police officer and a civilian interpreter dead. A demonstration of local residents occurred after the shooting near the camp where the incident occurred.
The initial assessment team is made up of Afghan interior and defense ministry representatives, as well as an ISAF Joint Command general officer and staff members. The team will review evidence, gather facts and talk with people who can provide details of what happened, officials said.
Initial reports indicate that during a mentoring session, an Afghan National Police member fired shots, killing the ISAF soldiers and civilian. One or more ISAF members reportedly returned fire, killing the ANP member. At this point, officials said, the cause of the shooting is unclear.
“These incidents are still very isolated,” said German Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, ISAF spokesman. “The coalition forces are training thousands of Afghan army and police forces every day. Training the Afghan national security forces remains as the foundation of a successful Afghan-led transition strategy.”
ISAF Joint Command officials said they will provide more information following the team’s assessment.
In other news from Afghanistan, Afghan police and coalition forces repelled insurgent attacks today at several locations in Helmand province’s Nahr‑e Saraj district, suppressing the insurgents and maintaining control of the area. Partnered security patrols will continue to reassure the local residents in Nahr‑e Saraj, officials said.
“The attacks coincided with Iftar as the Afghan forces were breaking their fast during the holy month of Ramadan,” said Marine Corps Lt. Col Chris Hughes, Regional Command Southwest public affairs officer. “Insurgent attacks and violence against Afghans during this holiest month characterize the insurgents’ lack of respect for fellow Muslims.” Meanwhile, Afghan and coalition forces continued their pursuit of Haqqani terrorist network leadership yesterday, detaining several insurgents in Khost province while in pursuit of a senior Haqqani commander.
The commander coordinates and conducts attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, including suicide bombings, and also is believed to be responsible for the transportation of weapons and supplies for attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces.
Intelligence sources indicated the group was gathering for an upcoming complex attack in the area that would involve suicide bombers and a vehicle-borne bomb, officials said.
After questioning all of the residents at the targeted compound, the security force detained the insurgents. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children who were present throughout the search.
Afghan and coalition security forces captured two Haqqani leaders and several Taliban leaders during 35 separate operations this week, officials said, and in the past week, a Taliban commander and a commander in Jamaat ul Dawa al-Quran, an Islamic fundamentalist group that works alongside the Taliban, were killed.
ISAF Joint Command officials noted that with clear rules of engagement in effect and extreme measures taken to avoid civilian casualties, more than 85 percent of the operations were conducted without shots fired. The Afghan-led operations resulted in more than 60 suspected insurgents detained and more than 45 insurgents killed, officials added.
Enemy bombs continued to take a toll on the Afghan people yesterday, as three Afghan civilians were killed when they stepped on a roadside bomb in Kandahar province’s Arghandab district.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases