22 Oct. 2008
PR# 2008-553

Insurgents use children as human shields

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents used two Afghan children as shields while they attempted to emplace IEDs in a road in Farah province Oct. 18.

U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment were conducting counter IED operations along a route in Golestan to ensure the safe passage of civilian traffic and ground convoys when they observed four insurgents attempting to emplace an IED in the road.

Initially the Marines observed four adults and two children in a truck laden with burlap sacks and shovels. The adults began digging holes. Once the burlap sacks were removed from the truck and opened, the Marines were able to see IED materiel in the sacks and that the holes being dug in the road were for IEDs.

Marine snipers shot two of the positively identified insurgents as they emplaced an IED. After the initial shots were fired, the other two insurgents grabbed the two children they had brought with them and held them in front of them to use them as shields.

The Marines waited until the children were let go and ran away before snipers shot the remaining two insurgents. The children fled in the direction of a mosque and were unharmed.

“We know that the insurgents often display a blatant disregard for civilian life. They frequently attempt to exploit our adherence to the rule of law. Unfortunately for them, our Marines are well trained in positively identifying targets before engaging them,” said Colonel Peter Petronzio, commanding officer for the Interim Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Afghanistan.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
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