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PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army Soldiers, alongside International Security Assistance Forces, worked to ensure school children in Zarghunshader district could safely return to school, March 23.
Two days earlier, the threat of improvised explosive devices forced a two-day delay in the start of the new school year for a handful of Afghan children.
Paktika officials, having received reports that the devices were placed in and around the school, turned to Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF for help.
Soldiers from the ANA’s 1st Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 203rd Corps, alongside ISAF Soldiers from CompanyB, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, answered the call with an explosive ordnance disposal team and a military working dog.
The EOD team used their robot to clear the courtyard while a military working dog sniffed its way through the school. Together the group determined that the school was clear of IEDs and safe for students to return to the classroom.
The ANA’s success in the operation allowed the Zarghunshader School to be reopened and ensured the children of Western Paktika started school with their peers, said Capt. Aaron Schwengler, Commander for Co.B, 3rd Bn., 87th Inf. Reg.
“All security forces are committed to ensuring that the children of Paktika can attend school safely,” he said.
Elsewhere in the Mata Khan district of Paktika province, the Afghan Uniform Police, acting on a tip from a citizen of Paktika, found an IED on a motorcycle. The AUP secured the area and ensured the safety of the civilian population.
A patrol from 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Reg. and EOD responded by destroying the motorcycle and the IED.
“The professionalism and ability of the Afghan National Police to operate independently in Paktika is very impressive,” said Capt. Justin Quisenberry, assistant operations officer for 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Reg.
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