Afghans Wounded in Firefight Being Treated at U.S. Base
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 29, 2005 Two Afghans wounded during an ambush by insurgent forces near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on April 26 continue recovery in a U.S. hospital at Bagram Air Base.
The first patient, who suffered a gunshot wound to the back, is listed in guarded condition, according to a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan official.
"He's not awake but is showing signs of improvement," Intensive Care Unit nurse Capt. Edward Burke said April 28. "We're monitoring him very closely and will soon start to wean him off the stronger medications."
The second patient, a woman who suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and a broken arm, is doing better and is listed in good condition.
"She had a tough time but is doing better," ICU chief nurse Maj. Rick Martin said April 28. "She's breathing well and we're going to try and get her to walk a bit later today. Her son came to visit her today from Jalalabad, and she was alert and talking. She's stable and doing well."
Both patients were wounded April 26 when insurgents, using remote-controlled improvised explosive devices and small arms, ambushed Afghan National Army forces patrolling near Jalalabad.
A quick-reaction force from the U.S. 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, responded to the attack to assist the ANA, and a firefight ensued. During the fight, the insurgents maneuvered behind a van loaded with civilian passengers. The passengers tried to exit the van to seek cover. Three were wounded in the process.
Coalition medical specialists immediately rendered assistance to the wounded individuals, who were evacuated by helicopter to Bagram. One was released April 27.
Officials said an investigation into the matter is under way to determine how the civilians were wounded.
"Coalition forces go to great lengths to ensure noncombatants are not in the line of fire. It is very clear that the insurgents are not playing by the same rules," said Army Brig. Gen. James G. Champion, Combined Joint Task Force 76's deputy commanding general for operations.