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Afghan, Coalition Members Conduct Medical Clinics

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2006 – More than 1,000 villagers in the Panjwayi and Zharey districts of Afghanistan received medical treatment and humanitarian assistance from Afghan and coalition personnel at clinics during the past weekend, military officials reported.

A group of medical professionals from Kandahar hospitals, the Afghan National Army and the coalition spent July 15 at a school next to the Panjwayi District Centre at Bazaar-e-Panjwayi. They conducted another medical clinic in Zharey district on July 16.

The group provided basic medical treatment to local people and livestock, dispensed medicine, and handed out food and other humanitarian supplies.

During the two days, medical personnel treated 1,028 people; veterinarians saw 18 animals; and tons of humanitarian supplies were distributed to villagers.

Canadian Brig. Gen. David Fraser, commander of coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, said the recent successes of security operations in the area paved the way for this and future humanitarian and reconstruction projects.

"With the threat from the Taliban subdued, humanitarian and reconstruction projects can now progress in relative safety," Fraser said. "Security and reconstruction work hand in hand. One cannot succeed without the other. With the success of recent security operations, it opens the door for future development."

The medical clinics are part of a joint Afghan-coalition effort to bring medical and humanitarian aid to outlying areas in Kandahar province. These medical and humanitarian aid operations are part of the larger Operation Mountain Thrust, which aims to improve the security conditions in southern Afghanistan so that more reconstruction can occur.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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