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Rockets Strike Jalalabad Cultural Center, Afghan Home

American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Sept. 20, 2005 – Two enemy rockets struck a cultural center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, today, injuring an Afghan girl and an Afghan National Police officer.

U.S. forces medical personnel treated both of the wounded at the scene.

The first rocket struck the cultural center, causing minor damage. The second rocket missed the center, but detonated on an Afghan home, causing minor damage.

"Why would anyone fire rockets at a cultural center? Because the enemy knows he is incapable of defeating Afghan and coalition forces, and they are so threatened by the tremendous progress throughout Afghanistan that they will try anything to stop it. But they can't," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jack E. Sterling Jr., deputy commanding general for support of Combined Joint Task Force 76.

"Cultural centers are a place of tolerance, of learning and of opportunity," he said. "Not only did the enemy damage an area dedicated to peace and understanding, but they wounded innocent people who were just trying to go on with their everyday lives."

Elsewhere in eastern Afghanistan, near Salerno, U.S. forces found a large quantity of explosives, improvised explosive devices, and IED-making materials in three duffle bags. The bags contained one anti-tank mine, two anti-personnel mines, 10 mortar rounds, two kilograms of explosive materials, six remote-controlled bombs, and a collection of wires, batteries and timers.

Explosive ordnance disposal personnel were heading to the scene to dispose of the materials.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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