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Afghans trapped by flood waters lifted to safety

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Army News Service, June 29, 2005) – The Afghan National Army and local government officials coordinated efforts with Coalition forces to rescue 119 Afghans stranded on a small island by floodwaters.

A Coalition helicopter lifted the stranded Afghans to safety June 23 as waters rose on the Indus River near Mehtar Lam in the Logman province. A dam upstream gave way sending water downstream trapping the group.

Afghan National Army soldiers on the island coordinated the aircraft loading and were dispensing aid supplies to the victims at a safer area approximately 300 meters away.

The Logman province deputy governor, working in conjunction with aid agencies, coordinated the rescue effort with Coalition forces. Aid agencies are working with local officials in the area to ensure that Afghans displaced by the flooding have access to shelter, medical attention and food.

“This is a perfect example of the Afghan government, taking the lead, working with Afghan National Army and Coalition forces to save lives,” said Lt. Col. Jerry O’Hara Combined Joint Task Force-76 spokesman. “We are continuing to work with the government of Afghanistan to ensure the people displaced by this tragic disaster receive the aid they need.”

A provincial reconstruction team at Methar Lam is working closely with aid agencies and local Afghan leaders to assist in relief efforts.

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