ISAF commander promises civilians' protection
TIRINKOT (PAN): Foreign soldiers are trying the level best to protect civilians during counterinsurgency operation in Afghanistan, an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander in central Uruzgan province said on Sunday.
At a change of command ceremony in Tirinkot, outgoing ISAF commander, Jim Creighton, said he would remember the 10 months he had spent in the province. He thanked Uruzgan residents for cooperating with NATO-led troops.
The international soldiers had done their bit to improve living conditions for the people, he said, voicing deep disappointment at ISAF's failure to reopen the Tirinkot-Khas Uruzgan road during his tenure.
Lt. Gen. David Rodriquez, ISAF Joint Command chief, the Australian deputy ambassador to Kabul and Governor Mohammad Omar Sherzad and other officials attended the ceremony.
The incoming commander promised to strengthen security in the province and spare noncombatants during security operations. "I'll try to discharge my responsibilities in coordination with the Afghan government."
Of the 1500 Australian troops fighting the Taliban in the framework of ISAF in the central province, 27 have been killed since the launch of their mission in late 2001.
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