Thursday, March 22, 2007

600 Afghans Rescued by NATO-Led Troops

NATO evacuates 600 in Afghanistan floods
KABUL: NATO-led troops used helicopters to evacuate some 600 stranded villagers in southern Afghanistan after their homes were destroyed by widespread flooding, the alliance says.
Despite poor weather and persistent rainfall, Dutch and American helicopters managed to land and rescue people in the border regions between the southern provinces of Helmand and Uruzgan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement."In some cases, ISAF had to persuade frightened people to accept being hoisted out of danger," the statement said.
The rescue operation happened at the time when NATO is conducting its largest ever offensive in southern Afghanistan, aimed at winning over a population long supportive of militant fighters.
The UN mission to Afghanistan together with the government have prepared food, tents, tarpaulins and blankets for an estimated 400 affected families, said Aleem Siddique, a UN spokesman.
Heavy rains triggered floods in Afghanistan's south and east, destroying homes and fields and killing several people, officials said.

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