July 02, 2010 09:13
The construction site of Korean troops in Afghanistan was hit on Wednesday by two rockets presumably fired by an insurgent group. Civilian Korean security guards fired back.
"A hostile force fired rockets at the construction site of Korea's Provincial Reconstruction Team base near Charikar in Afghanistan around 10:10 p.m. Wednesday," a Foreign Ministry Spokesman said. There were no casualties or any significant damage to facilities because construction was only about 30 percent complete.
This was the first time Korea's PRT camp in the war-torn country has been attacked.
The Korean government and military think this was a warning from an insurgent group since the main force of the Korean troops arrived on Thursday afternoon at the U.S. air base in Bagram for their mission to protect the camp.
The insurgent group was not identified immediately but is presumed to be the Taliban. The rocket rounds had been initially believed to be from an RPG-7 antitank rocket launcher, but a local civilian security guard said they were fired from a trench mortar.
As of Thursday, 58 Koreans -- 48 construction workers and 10 security guards -- and about 60 local security guards were at the construction site. The Korean PRT and military guards are to begin their activities there from late next month, when the camp is complete.
The Foreign Ministry Thursday afternoon convened a meeting of representatives from the Defense Ministry, the National Police Agency, the Korea International Cooperation Agency, and related businesses to discuss ways to bolster security at the base.
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