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Fallen Soldiers Honored in Memorial Service at Camp Phoenix

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2005 – Four soldiers killed in a land mine attack in eastern Afghanistan on March 26 were honored in a memorial ceremony at Camp Phoenix in the Afghan capital of Kabul today.

More than 400 soldiers and Marines, as well as soldiers from Great Britain, Romania and France, participated in the hour-long ceremony at daybreak.

Brig. Gen. Richard Moorhead, the commander of the Indiana National Guard's 76th Infantry Brigade, and Lt. Gen. David Barno, the commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, oversaw the ceremony. Christopher Alexander, the Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, was also in attendance.

The four soldiers, all members of the 76th, were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in struck a land mine in eastern Afghanistan as they were surveying potential locations for new training ranges for the Afghan National Army.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan today, two U.S. soldiers were injured in an ambush involving an improvised explosive device and small-arms fire near Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province. The soldiers were medically evacuated to Kandahar. Both were reported to be in stable condition. In another IED and small-arms incident today, six Afghan soldiers were injured in Asadabad when terrorists ambushed their patrol.

Coalition forces helped people in Ghazni province today after the Band-E Sultan Dam burst, flooding local farms and villages.

The coalition quickly responded by providing helicopters and truck support at the site of the break to help victims of the flooding. Coalition engineers were also sent to the dam to make assessments. Provincial leadership was on hand to supervise the support efforts.

Near Shindad Airfield on March 28, an Afghan National Army soldier attempting to alert a group of children to the dangers of unexploded ordnance was himself wounded by a land mine. Two ANA soldiers, guarding an ammunition supply point, saw a group of children scavenging scrap metal near their location and inside a known minefield. The soldiers, traveling on what they believed to be a cleared path, approached the children. One of the soldiers stepped on an anti-personnel mine, causing it to explode. The explosion struck the soldier's partner, who received shrapnel wounds to the leg. Three of the children were also injured, but none of them seriously. They were treated at the scene and released to their parents.

On March 27, coalition military forces transported two Afghan children by aircraft for medical care. A 16-year-old Afghan boy was flown to Asadabad for treatment for a gunshot wound to the chest. "He was released from coalition care today," a medical official said. "It was a clean wound. The patient was given antibiotics and medication, then released to his parents' care." A 6-year-old girl with second-degree burns on 30 percent of her body was taken to Bagram Airfield, where she was reported to be in guarded condition.

In March so far, the coalition has medically evacuated 57 Afghan patients for a variety of injuries and illnesses, officials said.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases. Army Sgt. Joe McFarren, Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix Public Affairs, contributed to this report.)

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