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LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Two vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices detonated near an Afghan National Police checkpoint in downtown Mehtar Lam Nov. 20.

The first blast claimed three lives and one more died while being treated in Jalalabad. Also, 25 locals were injured and immediately treated by local medics at the Mehterlam Provincial Hospital or transported to Jalalabad for further medical assistance. The second blast injured 11 people; four were stated to be in critical condition while the other seven were in good condition.

“The provincial government and the citizens of Laghman are very depressed about this event,” said Provincial Gov. Mohammad Iqbal Azizi during a radio message to the people from the NATO Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. “The enemies are weak, and that is why they are killing innocent people with their retaliations.”

International Security Assistance Forces arrived on scene and immediately teamed up with ANP and Afghan National Army soldiers to secure the area while the ISAF explosive ordnance disposal team investigated the blast sight. ISAF medics were also on scene to provide medical aid to the injured; however, Afghan medics had already transported the injured to the local hospital and Jalalabad and required no further assistance from ISAF medics.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by these cowardly attacks on the citizens of Mehtar Lam,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John C. Walker, native of Jacksonville, Ill., Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team commander. “The people of Laghman Province must not give in to these needless attacks. Rather, they must use this event to muster support for and unite with the government, in turn preventing future acts of violence in Mehtar Lam and Laghman Province.”

Deputy Provincial Gov. Murtaza Qalandarzai met with local leaders of ANP, ANA and ISAF to discuss the attack and how they could better prepare and protect the people of Laghman Province in the future.

“The insurgent activities and intentions show that they don’t want peace and development for a stable Afghanistan,” said Azizi while talking about how the people of Laghman have trust in their government and are struggling for a brighter Afghan future.LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Deputy Provincial Gov. Murtaza Qalandarzai speaks with local leaders of the Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and International Security Assistant Forces about security and the protection of the people of Laghman Province following the attack on downtown Mehtar Lam by two vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices Nov. 20. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Chase P. McFarland, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team)


Last Updated on Monday, 22 November 2010 23:18


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