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Afghan Update

  • July 30th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

nato-pic-of-week.jpgNATO has reported on its July operations against Taliban insurgents in Helmand province, in Southern Afghanistan .

ALLIED ACTION IN NORTH-EAST HELMAND PROVINCE

It said “a few thousand” troops from the Afghan army and ISAF (Afghanistan Security Assistance Force) had advanced last week (24.7.07) in the North-east of Helmand province.

They were securing a strategic bridge across the Nahr-e-Seraj canal, clearing and searching compounds, before setting up a joint forward operating base, “to provide an enduring and reassuring security presence in the area.”

Following reports of heavy Taliban casualties from use of air strikes, with no reports of allied military or civilian casualties, American television said a second operation had taken place in the same region (25.7.07).

The CNN report said more than fifty Taliban troops were believed to have been killed after challenging allied forces north of the village of Qal’eh-ye Gaz.

AUSTRALIANS INCIDENT IN THE ADJOINING REGION

Last week’s incident involving Australian troops (24.7.07) took place just North of that area, across the border with Oruzgan (Uruzgan) province.

Australia Defence authorities said the driver of a vehicle that kept on coming despite warnings was killed in the incident, at Tarin Kowt, the Oruzgan capital.

A Defence Department statement:

“There is currently a significant threat of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices in Tarin Kowt …

“Afghanistan remains a dangerous place and the threat of vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) is real.

“This was illustrated in Uruzgan Province earlier this month when a suicide bomber killed 17 and injured many more in Deh Rawood.”

The incident was being reviewed while Australian forces continued to operate under Rules of Engagement that aimed to avoid and minimise civilian casualties, it said.

On reconstruction: At the beginning of last month a $7-million Australian assistance package was announced, for help with mine clearance in Afghanistan, work to maintain an electoral system, and Asia Development Bank assistance to the country’s Finance Ministry; it included $2.5-million for the World Bank’s Reconstruction fund for Afghanistan, to which Australia has contributed $33-million since 2003.

Nearly 40 000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including the Australian forces, operate under a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) command structure .

Reference:

Afghanistan provinces map, http://afghan-network.net/maps/provincial_map.gif (30.7.07)

NATO, “New operation launched in Southern Afghanistan”, Brussels, 26.7.07, http://www.nato.int/home.htm (28.7.07)

Department of Defence (Australia), “Shooting Incident in Afghanistan”, CPA 214/07, Canberra, 25.7.07, www.defence.org.au/ (28.7.07)

CNN.com, “More than 50 insurgents killed in Afghanistan fighting”, http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/07/26/afghanistan.fighting/ (27.7.07)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Australia provides a further $7-million …”, Canberra, 1.7.07, http://www.foreignminister.gov.au (28.7.07)

Picture: NATO

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