War on Terrorism

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Rocket Hits Kandahar Airfield; Enemy Continues to Target Civilians

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2006 – An investigation continues today into a June 30 rocket attack on Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan that injured 10 people, military officials reported, while extremists continue to target Afghan civilians. Three people were treated for their injuries and were released, officials said. Six people were reported to be in stable condition, and one person was in serious condition at the base hospital, officials said.

"Taliban extremists employ rockets in a manner that makes them highly erratic and inaccurate," said Army Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "Unfortunately, this time a rocket caused damage and injury. The injured are receiving the best medical care available. Although (the incident is) tragic, our coalition partners will not be deterred in our joint mission to create a safe and secure environment in Afghanistan."

Meanwhile, extremists continue to target school children and other innocent civilians in attempts to terrorize the people of Afghanistan, officials said. Six Afghan civilians were injured today when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Mest Village of the Yosef Khel district in Paktika province. A coalition patrol encountered the injured civilians and provided first aid until an ambulance arrived. Afghan police are investigating the incident.

In the Gardez district of Paktya province today, Afghan police discovered a makeshift bomb inside a school. A coalition explosive ordnance disposal team responded to the scene, disabling and removing the weapon. An improvised explosive device was found yesterday in a village school west of Waza Khwa in the Yosef Khel district of Paktika province. Villagers reported to Afghan police and a coalition patrol that extremists had broken into the school and placed the device. A coalition EOD team disarmed and removed the weapon.

"IEDs are incredibly dangerous, indiscriminate killers," Fitzpatrick said. "The placement of these weapons in civilian areas only increases the chance they will maim, or even worse, kill Afghan citizens who are simply going about their day-to-day lives. Placing such destructive weapons near schools only highlights the desperation of extremists as they try to spread their message though fear."

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