March 6, 2008 —
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (March 6, 2008) — Afghan National Security Forces, assisted by Coalition forces, provided medical and humanitarian aid to multiple villages on Feb. 26 in the Arghandab District, Zabul Province after Taliban forces attacked them, Feb. 23.
In response to the raid, ANSF and Coalition forces quickly moved in to repair the damage done by the Taliban. The Taliban kidnapped six men from one village during the raid, stole food, and vandalized a number of other villages. There is no word on the whereabouts of the six abductees.
“When friendly forces arrived, every villager in sight swarmed the trucks,” said a Coalition soldier on the ground. “Other villagers walked out of the mountains, leaving their goats in the field, and children flocked to the ANSF trucks.”
Friendly forces provided supplies such as food, blanket, clothes, shoes and radios to help the people recover from the damage done to them by the insurgents and to help them through the harsh winter.
“The [children] around here have new shoes, and they actually smile when we come around,” said a Coalition soldier. “I remember when we first arrived; the children cried, and we saw much suffering.”
ANSF also provided medical assistance to several villagers who where beaten by Taliban forces. The soldiers also treated anyone else in the area in need of medical assistance. Several people were taken to a coalition clinic for further treatment.
“You’ve made me happy beyond words. I’ve never seen another man willing to feed a baby,” said a grandfather who brought in his malnourished granddaughter to received medical assistance.
“The medical and humanitarian visits are paying dividends,” said Capt. Vanessa Bowman, a Coalition spokesperson, said. “We are seeing the quality of life improving for the village and the trust for the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and ANSF are increasing.”