Servicemember Killed, Seven Injured; Ordnance Injures Afghan Boys
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2006 A coalition servicemember was killed and seven were injured after their vehicle rolled over in Afghanistan's Kandahar province today, military officials reported.
Officials did not release the nationality or service affiliation of the servicemembers.
The servicemembers, from the coalition's Multinational Brigade South, were on a routine patrol in an armored vehicle west of Kandahar city, officials said.
Four of the servicemembers were taken by air to the coalition hospital at Kandahar Airfield, and one died soon after arrival, U.S. officials said. Two remain in critical condition, and one is in stable condition there. Four other servicemembers were evacuated by armored ambulance to the provincial reconstruction team site in Kandahar city, where they were reported to be in stable condition and are receiving medical treatment, officials said.
Afghan National Army soldiers secured the site until a coalition quick-reaction force arrived. Names and nationalities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Also in Afghanistan, two boys were injured yesterday in separate incidents involving unexploded ordnance in Kandahar province.
In Spin Boldak, a 9-year-old boy lost a hand when a rocket-propelled grenade he was handling exploded. In Ghecko, an 11-year-old boy suffered wounds to his chest, pelvis and thighs while playing with a hand grenade that exploded. Both were flown for medical treatment to coalition facilities nearby.
"Aeromedical evacuation is often the fastest way to transport critically injured patients to a hospital," U.S. Army Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for the coalition's Combined Joint Task Force 76, said.
A coalition officer urged Afghans to be on the lookout for unexploded ordnance left over from Afghanistan's many years of war. "As winter closes, the ground is shifting, exposing old unexploded ordnance," Army Lt. Col. Lee Knight, civil military operations officer with CJTF 76, said. "I'm pleading with parents all over Afghanistan to teach their children not to touch anything unfamiliar, especially metal or hard plastic."
The Afghan government and coalition forces are working to make the country safer by eliminating unexploded ordnance near populated areas and collecting stores of munitions that have been confiscated or found and turned in, U.S. officials said.
(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)