In this edition:
Investigation clears ISAF after explosion kills three Afghan children
KABUL, Afghanistan - Preliminary findings of a joint Canadian Forces National Investigation Service and Afghan National Police investigation following the explosion on 23 February near Kandahar are now available. As a result of the explosion, two local children were killed and two injured, one of whom later died of his injuries.
Brigadier-General Jon Vance, the commander of Canadian troops in Kandahar province, said the
explosive did not belong to his soldiers, who held a range practice in the area the day before the tragedy.
“The burden of proof and experience in this part of the province places the likelihood of harming people with explosives squarely on the shoulders of the insurgency, not on the shoulders of Canadians” said Vance.
The preliminary findings of the investigation have determined that the device which caused the explosion was most probably an Improvised Explosive Device or mine not consistent with ammunition used by the ISAF troops previously in the area. These findings are based upon the evidence collected, witness interviews and analysis of explosive residue.
ISAF asks civilians to avoid handling unexploded munitions, even if they appear to be safe. Citizens are asked to notify their local Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army or ISAF unit so that trained professionals can safely destroy such dangerous items. Those of the Kandahar area are encouraged to contact the hotline at 0700377591.
300 additional ANP officers ready to hit the streets
KABUL, Afghanistan - More than 300 Afghan National Police (ANP) officers recently completed intensive training focused on improving core skills and their capacity to provide security for the Nad e’Ali, Gereshk and Lashkar Gah areas of Helmand province.
The officers were selected to take part in the eight-week Focused District Development (FDD) training programme, a national scheme in partnership with the Afghan Interior Ministry and U.S. State Department. This is the sixth time the course has been undertaken.
The course is taught at five regional training centres across the country with those from Helmand training in both Herat and Kandahar. Whilst the ANP were taking part in the course, officers from the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP) maintained the Rule of Law.
Upon their return to Helmand, the officers attended a ceremony to celebrate their achievement and received a medal from the Chief of Police in Helmand, Colonel Shirzad.
“Helmand now has over 300 newly-trained and skilled police and they will do a good job for the people of Helmand – they will help bring peace and security,” said Shirzad.
In the coming weeks, approximately 150 additional officers - around 50 from Sangin and 100 from the Garmsir District, will start on the next stage of FDD as the programme continues to strengthen the training of ANP across the country.
“There are still many challenges ahead for the Security Sector Reform team and the ANP in Helmand, but the 330 trained men standing proudly on parade was proof of progress and that the Afghan National Security Forces are continuing their development towards the ultimate goal of delivering security for the people of Afghanistan,” Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Armour, the British officer commanding the Security Sector Reform for Task Force Helmand.
International Security Assistance Forces support training and mentoring of the ANP at every level. At a provincial level, the European Police Mentors continue to work alongside Colonel Shirzad to help develop Helmand’s strategic policing structure. British police officers from the Ministry of Defence Police are based throughout the province, working from District Centres and ISAF Forward Operating Bases to build the capacity of the district police. Out on the ground, working alongside individual Afghan National Police officers, there are six British Police Mentoring Teams teaching specialist policing skills as well as basic infantry techniques.