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Two Afghan Soldiers Killed, Five Wounded in IED Strike

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2005 – Two Afghan soldiers died and another five were wounded May 14 when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.

The wounded were evacuated to Kandahar Airfield.

Officials noted that experts determined that the improvised explosive device used to kill the soldiers was a landmine packed with additional explosives. Nearly 6 kilograms more of explosives were used in the attack, creating a crater more than two meters in diameter and nearly a meter deep.

"Our servicemembers work with, train with and live with Afghan security forces and the Afghan National Army every day," said Army Brig. Gen. James G. Champion, deputy commanding general for operations for Combined Joint Task Force 76. "An attack on them affects us all. Not only are the attackers killing the people charged with ensuring the safety and continued security of the Afghan people, but they are killing some of their own."

The Afghan forces were traveling in a routine convoy that detoured around a bridge through a dry creek bed, where it hit the mine.

Elsewhere, Afghan citizens led coalition forces to two improvised explosive devices, and a rocket attack on a coalition base near the Pakistani border was averted May 15 in Afghanistan.

A citizen discovered one improvised explosive device along a road near Orgun-E containing nearly nine kilograms of plastic explosives. Two children led soldiers to the other IED's location, where it was buried with wires protruding along a road north of Salerno, officials said.

Explosive ordnance experts safely disposed of both IEDs.

"Nine kilograms of explosives could easily injure dozens of innocent people," said 1st Lt. Fidel Arvelo, executive officer for the Explosives Ordnance Disposal Control Team. "These devices are incredibly powerful and at the same time unstable. Insurgents use a variety of methods to detonate them, and they routinely put the lives of innocent Afghans at risk. It's not surprising that Afghans turn these devices in to Afghan National Police or coalition forces.

The rocket attack was avoided when a coalition patrol near the Pakistan border came across two rockets set to launch with a timer and aimed at a coalition base. The troops confiscated the timing device and destroyed the rockets.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan press releases.)

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