SAF Joint Command – Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan (March 30, 2011) – A joint Afghan and International Security Assistance Force incident assessment team has completed their review of an operation on March 26 in Helmand province.
The operation targeted a known Taliban commander and associates who were believed to be traveling in two vehicles in Now Zad district based on video surveillance. A Taliban sub commander and two associates were killed in the operation although the targeted individual was not in either vehicle. Four civilians travelling in the secondary vehicle were killed and three others injured as a result of the blast.Weapon system video demonstrated both vehicles were traveling as part of one movement and motorcycles were observed providing front and rear security. The assessment team received a detailed analysis from explosive experts and determined the size of the explosion and crater depth from the first vehicle clearly indicates it contained a large quantity of explosive material.
No civilians were observed entering vehicles and they likely entered the second vehicle when it was out of view of aerial surveillance. Three children traveling in the vehicles were not injured in the strike.
“This is a deeply regrettable incident and our condolences go out to those affected by this tragedy,” said Brig. Gen. Tim Zadalis, ISAF Joint Command director of air plans and team leader. “We will apply what we learned in this assessment in future operations as we strive to eliminate civilian casualties.”