Injured soldiers currently treated in Mazar-i Sharif hospital will be brought back to Lithuania

Injured soldiers currently treated in Mazar-i Sharif hospital will be brought back to Lithuania

Two Lithuanian soldiers serving with the 11th rotation of Chaghcharan PRT injured on September 23 now receive treatment at Mazar-i Sharif military hospital, they will undergo surgery.


The incident happened at 9.00 a.m. local time during escort of Psi-Ops troops in Chaghcharan, provincial capital. One local citizen was also injured in the incident.


„After a meeting with TV personnel they were attacked in the central part of Chaghcharan by a local citizen in an ANP uniform with a handgun. He fired two shots at soldiers: one of them suffered superficial chin wound and was diagnosed to have internal nose bleeding, the other - superficial gunshot chin wound, superficial gunshot wound of left hand and gunshot comminuted fracture of right hand," told Chief of the Joint Staff of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Brig Gen Algis Vaičeliūnas on the event.


According to the Chief of the Joint Staff, the person in police uniform fired around three shots at troops and escaped with his companion by motorcycle.


„I asked soldiers how it could possible have happened that the six of you were attacked by two persons with a handgun, and they replied that the situation had been developing really quickly. The attacker wore a suit of Afghan National Police, a friendly force. Foreseeing the incident was nearly impossible. Moreover, it all happened in a place crowded with local civilians and fire response from ISAF troops would have resulted in innocent victims, which servicemen chose to escape," commented Chief of the Joint Staff on soldiers' actions after the incident.


The injured received emergency medical aid in the PRT-11 camp, later they were airlifted to Mazar-i Sharif military hospital and underwent surgery. According to doctors, their lives are not in danger. The injured local person is treated in the Chaghcharan hospital.


„One thing is for sure - troops will not return to service in PRT. We will bring them back to Lithuania as soon as medical personnel permits," ensured Brig Gen A. Vaičeliūnas.


Commander PRT-11 Col Gintaras Smaliukas formed a response unit of 40 members to help local forces to investigate the incident. At the moment local forces -Police and National Security Department - search for the offenders and investigate the incident. According to primary data, two suspects have been detained. The investigation is in progress.


Relatives of the troops were notified of the incident.


The Lithuanian-led PRT in Ghor is a joint civilian-military mission, a part of NATO's ISAF, that was launched in Ghor in summer of 2005. The main task of the mission is to help Government of Afghanistan to extend authority in the province, ensure security and create environment for provincial reconstruction. Prerequisites for the allied forces deployed in Afghanistan to finish the mission will be provided as soon as the country's National Security Forces are able to ensure security of the country and its people independently. In the present period major attention is paid to the projects of training and preparation of Afghan National Security Forces in the framework of the new NATO ISAF strategy in Afghanistan.


Ghor, located in the central part of Afghanistan, is one of the safest provinces because of its geographical position and underdeveloped infrastructure. However, security situation in Ghor is described as relatively safe. Insurgent movement is sometimes spotted there as Ghor has borders with southern provinces guarded by additional huge deployment of allied forces since the beginning of 2010. As the Lithuanian-led PRT of Ghor increases its attention to training Afghan National Security Forces, establishment of Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (POMLT) is planned in Ghor by the end of the year.


At the moment the 11th rotation of the Lithuanian-led PRT serve in Afghanistan, the shift is based on the Lithuanian Grand Duke Kęstutis Motorised Infantry Battalion located in Tauragės Distr. Kęstutis Battalion provides personnel for the PRT mission for a second time. The majority of personnel in the shift have been deployed to multinational missions in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan previously.


Representatives of Denmark, Georgia, Japan, USA, Poland, Finland and Ukraine serve together with Lithuanian military and civilian personnel in Ghor PRT camp in Chaghcharan.