12 Mar. 2008

PR# 2008-095

Korengal Valley villagers aid ANSF, ISAF in disrupting insurgent attack

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF troops successfully disrupted attacks on their respective bases with the help of villagers in Kunar Province Mar. 9.

With information provided by Afghan citizens, ANSF and ISAF troops were able to engage an estimated 50 insurgents in nine different locations as they prepared to attack four ISAF and ANSF bases.

ANSF and ISAF engaged the insurgents with small-arms fire, machine guns, mortars and artillery. Military helicopters and aircraft were also incorporated into the fight. The insurgents responded with small-arms fire, heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles and mortars.

ISAF commanders on the scene confirmed several enemy killed and wounded.

One Afghan National Army soldier received a minor wound, but was later returned to duty.

For the first time since ISAF and ANA soldiers have operated in the area, members of a nearby village went to ISAF troops and confirmed the positions, plans for movement and weapons systems of insurgents they had seen in the area.

"Their assistance during the battle is tangible proof of a growing trend of support for the ANA and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the Korengal Valley," said Maj. Nicholas Sternberg, an ISAF spokesman for the area.  "The people of Korengal realize that the insurgents can only bring them pain and suffering and that their government can provide them stability and development, like the multi-million dollar road that is being built there now.

"The villagers provided real-time information and confirmation on the insurgent activity," said an ISAF spokesperson. "They also admitted that at least one of their own village members was involved with the insurgents. This increased the ANSF and ISAF ability to positively identify and engage the insurgents. This is a first for the Korengal Valley."

ISAF and ANA soldiers returned to the village early this morning and spoke with the villagers about last night’s events. The villagers again reiterated their description of the insurgent activities and showed great relief and appreciation that ISAF Soldiers did not hurt any local civilians despite the large volume of weapon fire during the fight.

"This is yet another clear sign that the villagers want the stability and development that the ANA and IRoA bring to their village."

Additionally, a fire near the enemy’s location was started by a rocket fired by an AH-64 helicopter. The villagers put the fire out and made no complaints about the damage or demands for compensation.

"They understood that the enemy activity near their village was the true cause of the fire and did not attempt to place blame on the ANSF or ISAF," said an ISAF spokesperson. "With the new found understanding and support of villagers in the Korengal Valley, the enemies of peace in Afghanistan will find that they are no longer welcome anywhere in Kunar Province."

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/