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ANA, Coalition forces meet with leaders in Herat province

Release No: UNRELEASED Feb. 18, 2009 PRINT | E-MAIL

PRESS RELEASE

U.S. Forces Afghanistan

February 18, 2009

Release Number 20091802-03

ANA, Coalition forces meet with leaders in Herat province

KABUL, Afghanistan - A combined Coalition and Afghan investigation team along with international observers visited with key leaders Feb. 18, in Gozara district, Herat province, as a part of the post operation strike investigation related to the targeting of an insurgent leader in the province.  The team is conducting an investigation to gather facts regarding any additional casualties at the site.

Coalition forces and Afghan National Army soldiers had inspected the site Tuesday and recovered weapons and ammunition while the ANA conducted a shura with local leaders.

The insurgent, who was affiliated with Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin and the Taliban, is responsible for a terror campaign throughout Herat using kidnapping and murder to brutalize Afghan civilians and village elders.

"We take all reports of non-combatant casualties very seriously and investigate these claims with the assistance of our Afghan forces counterparts," said Lt. Col. Rick Helmer, U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesperson.

"If, during the course of investigation, it is discovered that any non-combatants were killed or injured in the strike we will take responsibility and make amends. However, it has been a past practice of the insurgents to surround themselves with women and children knowingly placing them in danger," said Helmer. 

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United States Forces Afghanistan’s mission, in coordination with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, is to conduct operations to defeat terrorist networks and insurgents by developing effective governance and building the Afghan National Security Force.  Effective security throughout the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan facilitates continued regional stability and increases economic development for the people of Afghanistan.

Contact Information - US Forces Afghanistan Public Affairs Office

Tel +93 (0) 799 51 2919 or cell phone 93 (0) 707 355 965

USFOR-A-MediaRelations@afghan.swa.army.mil