29 Jul 2007

PR# 2007-578

Insurgents use mosque for cover

KABUL, Afghanistan - Insurgents used a mosque in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, as cover during an engagement with ISAF soldiers on July 28.

Insurgents initially attacked ISAF soldiers with small-arms fire.  As ISAF soldiers fired back, the insurgents retreated back from the engagement to a nearby mosque.  They began to fire on ISAF soldiers once again.  The ISAF soldiers, aware that mosques are protected sites, decided to not return fire with the enemy.

“ISAF values the Afghan culture and understands the religious ramifications of this incident to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said Lt. Col. Claudia Foss, ISAF spokesperson.  “Therefore, we did not engage the enemy any further out of respect for the sanctity of the mosque, even though the insurgents tried to provoke us by disrespecting the protected site.”

There are no reports of casualties.

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/