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Land Mine, Shelling Incidents Illustrate Dangers in Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2002 -- Two incidents in Afghanistan illustrate that the country is still a dangerous place, DoD officials said today.

In one case, three special operations soldiers were wounded when the vehicle they were driving hit a mine. The soldiers were driving north of the village of Farah in the western part of the nation. All three were evacuated to the U.S. hospital at Kandahar. Two were treated and released while one soldier remains under care for two broken ankles and possible internal bleeding.

A U.S. encampment near Asadabad came under mortar fire. Officials said seven to 12 rounds landed about a kilometer short of the camp. U.S. service members called on A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft for air-to- ground support. The pilots, unable to locate the firing point, dropped no ordnance.

Officials said coalition officials are pleased with the overall progress being made. Local Afghans are turning in weapon caches to coalition forces. Refugees continue to return to their cities, villages and farms. U.S. Army Special Forces trainers enrolled the newest battalion of the Afghan national army into training Oct. 22, and the Kabul Medical Institute, established with U.S. and coalition help, opens today.

Officials said coalition forces remain on the alert for al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and continue their military operations in the country.

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