01 Sep. 2008
PR# 2008-448

Insurgents torment villagers in Helmand

KABUL, Afghanistan - ISAF units in Helmand provided medical care to several civilians who came to ISAF installations for treatment of blast and fragmentation wounds August 31.

More than 20 wounded civilians arrived at two ISAF bases. ISAF immediately treated those with the most severe injuries, and those with minor injuries received money for taxis to local hospitals or to Lashkar Gah.

One treated civilian said his village, Sarevan Qal’eh, was attacked the evening of Aug. 30. Insurgents ransacked three compounds and killed three women and an unspecified number of children. He then reported that the insurgents had shot him in both kneecaps before fleeing. He believed that the insurgents attacked his village because some villagers had been seen talking with ISAF troops in the last week.

Other civilians, who were treated at a different ISAF base, said they had fled into the desert when their village near Kshatan Malazay sustained a series of explosions. They attempted to return to bury their dead but were unable to due to the continued fire. They collected their wounded and headed east across the desert when four of the village elders made their way towards the mountains to broker a local ceasefire in order to recover their dead from four unknown men in green fatigues.

The elders were detained until the evening of Aug. 31 at which time they were allowed to return to their family group and the village. On their way back to their village, the civilians were attacked from an unknown source leading them to seek medial help from ISAF bases.

The overall situation remains confused.

Neither ISAF nor the U.S.-led coalition forces have reported operations in the immediate vicinity of these events. ISAF is in the process of gathering further information from civilians in the area and analysing bits of the fragmentation to determine the nature of the munitions used.

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/