13 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-387

Escalation of Force in Helmand province injures civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan - An incident occurred today at a vehicle checkpoint being manned by ISAF troops near Lashkar Gar, Helmand Province. A car overtook the queue of traffic and tried to drive through the checkpoint.

The ISAF soldiers, after making full use of non-lethal warnings (hand, arm and audio signals as well as flashing light signals), were forced to fire a single warning shot after the car continued on its course. Unfortunately the bullet ricocheted, injured the driver and then injured two other civilians who were passing by.

Immediate medical assistance was given to the injured civilians and they were taken by ISAF forces to a local hospital.

ISAF soldiers are trained to take the appropriate steps to minimize civilian casualties. However, they must take action to protect themselves when threatened. Tragic incidents such as this are avoidable if the public comply with the instructions of those who are endeavouring to provide a safe environment.

ISAF runs frequent public service announcements and advertising campaigns aimed at keeping the local population informed about the need to maintain a safe distance from ISAF convoys as they travel throughout the region.

This incident is being investigated and our thoughts are with those injured civilians and their families at this time.

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/