WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2006 – Afghan and coalition forces discovered and disabled multiple explosive devices in three separate locations today, and coalition forces helped save two Afghan boys, U.S. military officials reported. A coalition unit discovered a landmine placed on the side of a road in Paktika province. A coalition explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the mine in place.
In Khost province, an Afghan civilian reported a makeshift bomb to the Afghan National Police, who investigated and found it in the Warza Village. Another makeshift bomb placed along the same road hit a separate Afghan police unit responding to the site. In addition, an Afghan National Army patrol discovered another two makeshift bombs along a road in Paktika province. The patrol destroyed the devices in place. No injuries or damage was reported in any of the incidents.
"Afghan security forces demonstrated their capability to quickly respond to emergencies in support of the Afghan people," said Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzpatrick, Combined Joint Task Force 76 spokesman. "They showed great courage in responding to these (bombs) today. These weapons will no longer be a threat to the lives of Afghan civilians. Afghan and coalition forces will continue to seek out and destroy these types of deadly weapons wherever we find them to ensure the safety of the Afghan people."
In other news from Afghanistan, U.S. medical evacuation helicopters flew two injured boys to U.S. medical facilities. A 7-year-old boy who fell from a cliff was brought to the U.S. base in Kunar province with a skull fracture today. In a separate incident, an 11-year-old boy was taken to the medical clinic on the coalition base in Asadabad yesterday after suffering from severe wounds sustained when an explosive detonated. The boy lost an arm in the explosion, but he is now recovering in stable condition, officials said.
"The Afghan hospital is very good, but traumatic injuries can be a challenge for any hospital to treat. When civilians come to a coalition clinic with life-threatening injuries, we will do everything we can to help save their lives," Fitzpatrick said. "Many times that includes transporting the patient to our two full-scale hospitals in either Bagram or Kandahar. When that occurs, we provide the same urgent medical care as for our own soldiers."
Coalition forces fly an average of three to five medical evacuation flights for Afghan civilians a week. "We genuinely care for the well being of the Afghan people and routinely devote our helicopters to civilian medical flights," Fitzpatrick said.