5 Jun 2007

PR# 2007-421

Taliban direct mortars toward hospital

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Taliban extremists fired numerous mortar rounds at a hospital in Miri district this morning around 10:30 a.m.  The extremists targeted security positions while a team of Afghan doctors treated local patients.

The medical outreach program had just begun when the mortar fire started. Soldiers from the 4th Khandak, 203rd Afghan National Army Corps and ISAF were providing security for the doctors and Afghan patients during Operation Maiwand. 

“During the past several days, the Afghan National Security Forces have captured several Taliban leaders, destroyed numerous weapon caches and destroyed five roadside bombs in place without injury,” said ANA Col. Yar Mohammad Sayedi, 203rd Corps operations officer.

“Despite warnings from the Taliban not to assist or take aid from the government or ISAF, hundreds of Afghans have come to the medical clinics and to the district centers to receive aid,” said Lt. Col. David Accetta, Regional Command East spokesman.

Sayedi said, “This operation has begun with great success thanks to the people of Ghazni, the ANSF, and our coalition partners. 

“The local government, police and military are connecting to the people and will stand behind all those who oppose the criminals and murders,” he added, referring to the Taliban and insurgents fighters. 

Accetta said, “The major focus of ISAF during this operation is to provide humanitarian support.”  

“Operation Maiwand is a deliberate effort to transform Ghazni province for the people living there,” Accetta said.  More than 750 ISAF and 600 Afghan National Security Forces are participating.

There were no reports of any injuries to Afghans, ANSF or ISAF personnel from today’s mortar attack on the hospital.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/