CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (July 2, 2009) — U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers and police are continuing clearing operations in key population centers along the Helmand River valley in an effort to secure the local population from the threat of Taliban and other insurgent intimidation and violence.
Almost 4,000 Marines and sailors from Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, along with more than 600 Afghan national security forces, are currently operating in the districts of Nawa and Garmsir in central Helmand province MEB forces are operating as far south as the vicinity of Khan Neshin, the capital of Rig district in the region of the Helmand River valley known as “The Fishhook.”
One Marine has been killed in action, and several others have been injured or wounded throughout the day. The MEB has not received any confirmed reports of civilian casualties or damage to property. MEB-Afghanistan forces have not used artillery or other indirect fire weapons, and no bombs have been dropped from aircraft.
MEB-Afghanistan is a subordinate unit of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. The combined U.S. and Afghan mission is to provide security for population centers along the Helmand River valley and connect local citizens with their legitimate government while establishing stable and secure conditions for national elections scheduled for August as well as enhanced security for the future.