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American Medics Save Afghan Boy's Leg

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2005 – A young boy will keep his leg, thanks to limb-saving surgery conducted in late September at the American hospital at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials announced today.

Abdul Salaam, a 14-year-old boy from the Paktika province, suffered a gunshot wound during a Sept. 19 ambush while he was traveling with a group near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, officials said.

The boy received some initial treatment, but later developed an infection. Abdul's father brought him to a forward operating base in the Paktika province, where coalition medical personnel determined there was a strong chance the leg would be lost without immediate attention, officials said.

Abdul and his father were flown to Bagram Air Base, where doctors operated Sept. 29 to save the leg. The operation was successful and his prognosis for recovery is good, officials said.

"The doctors here at Bagram are glad to be able to help and support the Afghan people with medical care," said Dr. (Maj.) Robert Swift, chief of orthopedics and one of the doctors who performed the surgery. "The surgery was extremely successful and he is doing fine now."

In other news from Afghanistan, U.S. and coalition forces are investigating an incident in which four Afghan National Police members were killed and another was wounded near Gereshk, in the Helmand province, Oct. 6, Combined Force Command Afghanistan officials reported today.

Officials said coalition forces were engaging enemy forces when an unfamiliar vehicle carrying five armed men approached the area. The troops fired on the vehicle, filling four of the passengers and wounding another.

The men in the vehicle turned out to be Afghan National Police members who were not in uniform, officials said.

In air operations over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 24 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 6 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. These missions included support to coalition and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities, and the conduct of presence route patrols.

U.S. Air Force A-10s and a B-52 provided close air support to coalition forces in the vicinities of Asmar, Gereshk, and Shkin. A-10s expended four rockets near Asmar.

In addition, six U.S. Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and French air force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a non-traditional ISR role.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Forces Command Afghanistan
U.S. Central Command Air Forces


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