Explosion blasts in front of Lithuanian troops in Afghanistan, no injuries reported
As the Lithuanian Defence Ministry reported a hand-made explosive detonated in front of a vehicle of Lithuanian troops during their regular patrol route in Afghanistan’s Ghor province on Tuesday morning.
No injuries or damage to vehicles were reported during the incident writes the BNS.
The explosive set off over 100 meters in front of the first vehicle in the column. Lithuanian troops are still working to determine the type of the explosive device.
The incident occurred about 130 kilometres southeast of Chagcharan, the capital of the Ghor province and the site of the camp of the Lithuanian-manned Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). Troops continue their tasks in the region.
The BNS reported that the Defence Ministry said that increased guerrilla activity had been observed in the relatively calm province of Ghor this year, with forecast for further increase in the future amid the upcoming Afghan presidential elections and elections to Ghor’s local administration.
“Groups discontent with the performance of international forces in Afghanistan are taking advantage of the transition period to boos their influence in the country. In the Ghor province, we aim to ensure maximum security and constantly assess the situation, and we will draw certain conclusions from today’s incident whether any additional measures are possible to guarantee security of troops during their missions,” PRT-9 Colonel Alvydas Siuparis said in the press release.
The BNS reminded that the ninth shift of PRT is currently serving in Afghanistan. It consists of mainly troops of the Artillery Battalion of General Romualdas Giedraitis. In addition to Lithuanian troops, the team involves soldiers from Croatia, Denmark, Georgia, Japan, Ukraine and the United States.
Lithuania started leading Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Ghor in June 2005. The main goal of the PRTs is to help Afghan authorities expand their influence in the province, ensure security and stability as well as form suitable conditions for reconstructing the province.