June 12, after discussions of the Allied Ministers Lithuanian Minister of Defence Rasa Juknevičienė contacted Commander PRT-9 in Ghowr, Afghanistan, Col. Alvydas Šiuparis to get a first-hand view of security situation in the Lithuanian compound near the provincial capital Chaghcharan and in the surrounding area.
Commander PRT-9 reported that defence of the PRT HQ was strengthened and readiness level enhanced in response to air attack of the US forces on a Talib insurgent leader and his fighters conducted on June 9 in the western part of Herat that has a mutual border with Ghowr. Security precautions were taken though no hostile behaviour of the local had been spotted.
As it was put in an official statement from the US side, the target of the mentioned operation was mullah Mustafa - the leader of around 100 armed insurgents who would organise attacks on the road connecting the remote province of Ghowr with Herat bordering with Iran. According to the latest information, no direct evidences of Mustafa's death were found, however, there were proofs of civilian victims. Minister of National Defence called Commander PRT-9 Col. A. Šiuparis to learn whether any discontent of the locals was noticed which was ascertained as negative by the Commander of Lithuanian peacekeepers in Afghanistan.
At the moment security in Ghowr is overlooked by the ninth rotation of Lithuanian peacekeepers, formed of the basis of Gen. Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion. Lithuanian soldiers in the mission are accompanied by personnel from Denmark, Georgia, Japan, the US, Croatia, and Ukraine.
PRT is a Lithuanian-led Civilian-Military Mission in Afghanistan, Ghowr province, operating under the NATO International Security Assistance Force. PRT first deployed in Ghowr in June 2005 t o implement its main purpose: assist the Government of Afghanistan in extending its authority in the province, ensure security, and create environments suitable for provincial reconstruction processes.
PR Advisor of the Minister of National Defence
Danguolė Bičkauskienė, contact phones 8 686 06265, 85 2735520.