A Fight in Afghanistan



Musa Qaleh, Afghanistan.
   17 May 2008: KANDAHAR, Afghanistan Insurgents fired a rocket that hit a NATO helicopter carrying the governor of a key southern Afghan province Saturday, but no one was injured.

   Helmand Governor Ghulab Mangal and a delegation of British officials were about to land in the provincial town of Musa Qaleh (a.k.a Musa Qala) when an insurgent rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter.

             Mangal said the pilots managed to land the HC Mark II - the British version of the famous American Chinook helicopter - at a nearby NATO base. The tail number is yet to be identified.

             A spokesman for the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said: "An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopter made an unscheduled landing at Forward Operating Base Edinburgh in the Musa Qaleh area.

Damaged Chinook helicopter at FOB Edinburgh.
   Major Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for the international force, said: "There was a minor damage to shaft and the rear blade. The helicopter landed under control." None of the passengers were injured.

             Mangal and other officials were to inaugurate a new mosque in Musa Qaleh, a town that lies in Helmand at the heart of the country's opium poppy-producing region.

             U.S., British and Afghan troops pushed Taliban fighters out of Musa Qaleh late last year after the militants overran the area in early 2007 and held it for 10 months.

             The delegation returned back to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah in another helicopter.

             Click-N-Go Here to view a 1:250,000 USGS Geological Map of the area around Musa Qaleh. It is recommended one "Right Click" and select "Save As" to download this map to the hard drive before viewing [26.3 Mb].



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