WASHINGTON, July 7, 2006 – Villagers captured an extremist who threw a grenade into a mosque in the village of Showbi in the Tere Zayi district of Afghanistan's Khost province today during prayer, military officials reported. The grenade injured three men, including the mullah, who were taken to the coalition hospital in Khost for treatment.
The villagers chased the assailant down and captured him, then notified coalition forces. Afghan police took the assailant into custody. "Extremists continue to conduct needless attacks on Afghan civilians to threaten and intimidate them in the hopes they won't support a free and growing Afghanistan," said Army Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "These insurgents offer nothing but violence and oppression. Afghan people only want a safe environment and a reasonable income to live on. This is the future of Afghanistan."
Elsewhere, two Afghan civilians were injured when an improvised explosive device they found exploded while they were trying to take it to coalition forces. The incident occurred in the Bermel district of Paktika province. The civilians were flown by helicopter to the U.S. hospital at Bagram Air Base for treatment.
In Khandahar, coalition forces discovered a roadside bomb today and disabled it before it could harm coalition forces or Afghan civilians. "IEDs are planted by Taliban extremists without regard to the danger they create to innocent civilians," Fitzpatrick said. "We encourage civilians to report IEDs, weapons caches and other suspicious activity to Afghan or coalition forces, but they should not attempt to handle these dangerous devices themselves."
In another incident, Afghan National Army and coalition forces recovered a large weapons cache 20 kilometers north of Chamkani in the Ali Khail district of Paktya province July 5. An Afghan citizen reported suspicious activity to the combined Afghan and coalition patrol, which led to the discovery of heavy machine guns, 82 mm mortar rounds, 82 mm recoilless rounds, heavy machine gun ammunition, anti-tank mines, and anti-personnel mines.