18 June 2008

PR# 2008-268

Joint Combined Operation patrols western side of Arghandab River

KABUL, Afghanistan – As of 6:00 this morning, a joint combined force from the Afghan National Army and ISAF started patrolling the western side of the Arghandab River searching for small groups of insurgents.

This clearing operation is a response to a direct Taliban threat to the people of Arghandab district, where insurgents have forced hundreds of innocent Afghans to flee their homes. The joint combined forces been going on without major incidents so far. The operation is expected to be completed within the next three days.

Extreme care has been taken to avoid civilian casualties in this densely populated area, because the insurgents have a history of misusing innocent civilians for their own protection. ISAF values the life of every single person. The Coalition’s approach to operations reflects this fundamental difference with the Taleban extremists.

Last night in Kandahar City, Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF commanders reported that life was quiet and business was continuing as usual. It is clear that the city remains firmly under the control of the Afghan government despite rumours that the Taliban might attack.

The number of insurgents reported in Arghandab District in recent days has proven to be greatly exaggerated. ISAF would like to thank the local population for their cooperation in providing information about insurgent activity in the city and encourages them to continue to work with us.

All ANSF and ISAF operations in southern Afghanistan continue and this new operation is progressing as planned for the overall wellbeing of the Afghan population.

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/