17 Mar. 2008

PR# 2008-102

Three ISAF soldiers, one ISAF interpreter and three Afghan civilians killed by suicide attack in Gereshk

KABUL, Afghanistan – On Monday, 17 March 2008 at approximately 9:35 a.m. a Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) convoy providing assistance to local authorities in the town of Gereshk in Helmand Province was hit by a suicide improvised explosive device that detonated near the ISAF vehicles.

Three ISAF soldiers, one ISAF interpreter and three Afghan civilians were killed by the blast. Four ISAF soldiers and approximately six Afghan civilians were wounded. At this time, the status of all the wounded civilians is not known, but the soldiers’ injuries are not considered life-threatening.

ISAF personnel assisted local Afghan authorities by providing immediate medical assistance to those injured in the blast and they also helped to secure the area.

The wounded soldiers and four of the injured civilians were evacuated to the ISAF base in the area to receive medical care and have since been transferred to ISAF medical facilities in southern Afghanistan. Two of the wounded civilians were taken to the civilian hospital in Gereshk.

“I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of our fallen soldiers and the Afghans killed in today’s senseless act,” said Major General Marc Lessard, Regional Command South commander. “At this time we are doing everything we can to assist our injured troops and the wounded Afghan civilians.”

“We strongly condemn this indiscriminate attack,” said Maj. Gen. Lessard.  “This clearly shows that the insurgents are desperate in their efforts to destabilize this country and in their attempts to undo the tangible progress that the people of Afghanistan have made thus far.”

“Today, the enemies of Afghanistan struck at the heart of our community when this suicide bomber blew himself up,” said Lieutenant Colonel Simon Millar, Task Force Helmand spokesperson. “His target was ISAF soldiers whose only mission is to help the people of Afghanistan.”

“ISAF is working hard alongside the Government of Afghanistan to make this country a better place,” said Lt. Col. Millar. “Our work continues in government, in the fields and the bazaars. This action will not deter the Government and ISAF in our campaign to remove these enemies of the Afghan people. Cowardly acts like this will not stop us.”

In accordance with ISAF policy, ISAF does not release the casualties’ nationalities prior to the relevant national authority doing so.

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/