13 Jul 2007

PR# 2007-535

Taliban extremist fire targets civilian travelers

QALAT, Afghanistan – In two separate incidents July 12, Afghan and ISAF forces responded when Taliban extremists fired on civilians who were traveling on Highway 1 in Zabul province, southern Afghanistan.

In the first incident, an estimated 50 Taliban extremists launched an attack from the village of Spin Ghbargah, and began firing on civilians traveling along the roadway.  Two quick-reaction platoons of the Afghan National Police and ISAF’s Romanian force were dispatched to the ambush site. 

The ANP later reported that although the extremists had attempted to merge into the civilian population of Spin Ghbargah, they were still able to arrest four suspected Taliban extremists and confiscate their motorcycles.

In the second incident, 30 kilometers northeast of the first event, near the village of Shah Hasan Kheyl, Sahajoy district, an unknown number of Taliban extremists again fired on civilians traveling on Highway 1.  An ANP quick-reaction force responded, and was later supported by another Romanian quick-reaction force.  There were no reports of any civilian casualties.

“This incident appears to be a further example of Taliban extremists deliberately targeting civilians,” said Lt. Col. Mike Smith, spokesman for Regional Command South.  “The extremists subsequently put other civilians at risk by hiding behind them in an attempt to make good their escape.  Fortunately, the quick response from the ANP enabled the capture some of the insurgents.”

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/