11 Jul 2007

PR# 2007-530

Aggressive driver fired upon by ISAF troops

HELMAND, Afghanistan – ISAF troops were involved in an incident in Lashkar Gah July 10 when an Afghan motorcyclist approached a foot patrol at high speed and a bystander was struck by a ricochet warning shot.

“Taliban extremists often use motorcycles to launch suicide-bomb attacks against ISAF troops,” said Lt. Col. Mike Smith, Regional Command South spokesman.

“Troops on foot patrol and at checkpoints must follow specific procedures to warn civilian motorists when facing a threat,” he added.

In an attempt to alert and warn the motorcyclist to stay back, ISAF soldiers shouted and used hand signals.  Follow-on warnings included a flare and then a warning shot. The warning shot ricocheted and unintentionally struck and wounded the bystander.

He was evacuated to an ISAF medical facility.

“ISAF goes to great lengths to ensure that the local population understands our procedures and warning measures to ensure the safety of everyone,” Smith said.   

“We regret having to use force and hope the injured bystander recovers,” Smith said.

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/