Television footage broadcast Tuesday showed insurgents handling what appears to be U.S. ammunition in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan that American forces left last month following a deadly firefight that killed eight troops.
The U.S. military said the forces that left the area said they removed and accounted for their equipment.
Al-Jazeera broadcast video showing insurgents handling weapons, including anti-personnel mines with U.S. markings on them. The television station reported that insurgents said they seized the weapons from two U.S. remote outposts in Nuristan province. It was unclear when the video was filmed.
The ammunition could be used against U.S. and Afghan forces, although the amount shown was not extensive. However, the footage will no doubt be used by insurgent propagandists to promote their “victory” over the Americans and encourage their supporters.
Nuristan was the site of an Oct. 3 battle in which some 200 fighters bombarded a joint U.S.-Afghan army outpost with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells. Eight U.S. troops died — as well as three Afghan soldiers — in one of the heaviest losses of U.S. life in a single battle since the war began.
Lt. Col. Todd Vician, a spokesman for NATO forces, said the material in the footage “appears to be U.S. equipment.” He said it was unclear how the insurgents got the weapons.
“It’s debatable whether they got them from that location,” Vician said, referring to the mountainous Kamdesh district of Nuristan where the nearly six-hour battle took place.
But Gen. Mohammad Qassim Jangulbagh, provincial police chief in Nuristan, said, “The Americans left ammunition at the base.”
Three American platoons were deployed at the two posts, mostly troops from Task Force Mountain Warrior of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colorado.
The U.S. destroyed most of the ammunition, but some of it fell into the hands of insurgents, Jangulbagh said.
Read the rest at: AP
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