07 Sep 2007

PR# 2007-631

ISAF and ANA repel Taliban attack on shura in Rahim Kalay

Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army and ISAF forces launched a counter-attack on Taliban firing positions after Taliban insurgents attacked a gathering of village elders, mullahs and local government officials in Rahim Kalay in the Upper Gereshk Valley, Helmand Province on Sept. 6. The ANA and ISAF forces responded to the attack with small arms fire, machine guns and mortars.

The shura was being held to discuss reconstruction and development activities in the local area. The District Governor, District Mayor and Chief of Police of Gereshk and the Chief Mullah had arrived at the compound for the meeting, along with roughly 60 village elders from across the Upper Gereshk Valley, when the attack was launched.

As the District Governor was beginning his address, two mortar rounds were fired from Taliban positions near the river Helmand. ANA and ISAF detected the launching of these rounds and passed a warning to the shura, allowing the attendees to take cover when one of the rounds detonated next to the gathering. An ISAF soldier providing security for the shura was slightly injured during the incident. Another mortar round landed next to the nearby joint ANA/ISAF forward operating base.

“This deliberate attack on a peaceful shura by the Taliban is another example of their contempt for the safety and wellbeing of ordinary civilians,” said Lt. Col. Charlie Mayo, ISAF spokesman.  “The shura was an opportunity for the village elders to hear from their local leaders, and the District Governor’s plans for reconstruction and development, which was cut short following the attack.”

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/