War on Terrorism

Monday, July 24, 2006

Enemy Extremists Continue Destructive Behavior in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2006 – Enemy fighters in Afghanistan continue to use homemade bombs to terrorize the civilian population, a U.S. spokesman there said today. "Enemy extremists continue their destructive behavior using improvised explosive devices to spread fear and terror among the Afghan people," Army Col. Thomas Collins, a spokesman for Combined Forces Command Afghanistan said in a news briefing.

A suicide car bomb struck a convoy this morning injuring two coalition soldiers. Officials did not release the soldiers' nationality. Also this morning, a suicide motorcycle bomb drew Afghan soldiers and police to an area in Farah province, where they were attacked by Taliban extremists using small arms. One Afghan soldier was wounded. These attacks came a day after an improvised explosive device wounded two coalition soldiers on a highway in eastern Afghanistan and two days after coalition forces found a weapons cache in a cave complex in Kunar province. Items found in the cave included an assault vest, wires and switches, blasting caps and various documents.

"The last 48 hours have shown once again that the people of Afghanistan are threatened by a ruthless, immoral enemy," Collins said. "This enemy is lying when he says he is fighting a jihad. The truth is that he is only fighting to oppress the Afghan people's rightful desire for progress and peace." As more and more Afghans report roadside bombs and IED makers, they are providing invaluable assistance in defeating these devices, helping prevent injury and death for their fellow Afghans, he added. "While we face an adaptive and innovative enemy, there is no single solution to defeating these efforts. Afghan and coalition forces must continue their aggressive pursuit to kill or capture the bomb makers and their networks," he said.

Collins said that training and effective technology are critical aspects to meeting this challenge. To that end, a joint information exchange started today in the United States that includes delegates from Pakistan and Afghanistan who are members of their respective Counter IED Tripartite Working Group. Members of the group will observe how the United States trains to counter IEDs. The conference also provides an opportunity for Afghan and Pakistani representatives to share techniques and lessons learned in combating such tactics in their own countries, Collins said.

In other news from Afghanistan, a coalition team came to the aid of an injured Afghan child early today in the Nari district of Kunar province. The 2-year-old boy had fallen from a roof and was suffering from a depressed skull fracture, vomiting and loss of consciousness, U.S. officials said in a statement. A coalition medical evacuation team transported the child by air to a coalition medical facility for treatment. The young boy is being evaluated, and is currently listed in stable condition, officials said.

"Our prayers go out for a speedy recovery for this young boy," Army Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, a Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman, said. "We try our best to aid Afghan civilians in need whenever resources are available."

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