OEF Update, Oct. 21, 2009: Forces Provide Aid; Repositioning Continues; US Casualty
Dispatches from the Front:
KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 21, 2009 -- Afghan National Security forces and International Security Assistance Force members collected and distributed humanitarian assistance aid, Oct. 18-20 in Kunar province, to refugees displaced by the outbreak of violence following a Pakistan military offensive against insurgent forces in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan.
Humanitarian aid included more than 4,000 bags of flour, 2,500 bags of rice and dozens of bundles and boxes containing tea, sugar, salt, cooking oil and other food items sent into northeast Afghanistan to help refugees in the area. Additionally, more than 100 tents will provide shelter for refugees in an area that is experiencing seasonally inclement weather.
The joint humanitarian assistance operation is an ongoing response to the increasing number of displaced persons in the Afghan-Pakistan border region.
More than 100 families have already crossed the border into Kunar province in recent days. ISAF estimates that up to 3,000 families may follow in the coming weeks.
Joint efforts continue in the area, and more supplies are en route to ensure the health, safety and comfort of the refugees while missions aimed at removing insurgents and restoring security and stability are being conducted in the region.
Repositioning of Forces Continues
ISAF continued to realign forces to better secure and stabilize population centers in Afghanistan by closing combat outpost Lowell in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan province Oct. 20.
Prior to the closure, international forces recently met with local leaders to explain the decision and discuss the handover of facilities to local authorities. The facilities were left intact for use by the local community after all military equipment was removed.
Coalition forces and the Afghan Government will continue to seek opportunities to cooperate with and provide assistance to Afghans in the Kamdesh district. ISAF troops will use the opportunities provided by realignment to enhance combined action with Afghan National Security Forces and to assist the Afghan government to build governance and development capacity in populated areas.
An Afghan and international security force detained a suspected militant today after searching a series of buildings known to be used by a Taliban suicide bomber and improvised explosive device facilitator in Kandahar province.
The suspected militant is believed to be responsible for numerous attacks and ambushes in the region and is also believed to be a shadow governor for the local Taliban's illegitimate government.
The joint force searched the buildings near Mandowzai village in Panjwayi district after intelligence reports indicated militant activity. The search was conducted without incident. No shots were fired, and no one was injured.
A U.S. servicemember was killed in an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan, Oct. 20.
(Compiled from NATO International Security Assistance Force news releases.)