New Musahi Police HQ work continues despite vehicle suicide bomber

2011/06/13 • Comments

This team of Afghan men rebuild the rock wall that divides the “government building” from the police district headquarters building. The wall received much of the impact and lessened damage to the headquarters building. (Photo by Jon Connor)

By Jon Connor

DCOM-Regional Support
NTM-A PAO

 

KABUL, Afghanistan – The morning of April 14 was like those before at the rural police compound except that a truck parked near the “government building” exploded at 7:14 a.m, detonated by the driver who only killed himself.

The bla st, approximately 35 miles southeast of Kabul, did result in three Afghans being injured. But thanks to a 10-foot rock wall that absorbed some of the impact, the Musahi Police Headquarters building to its right was not damaged as bad as it could’ve been. To the far left, the sub-district governor’s building received some damage. The sub-district governor was not present.

To the immediate left, a village elders meeting building received more damage.

The three Afghans injured were a police officer and two village elders. They have since recovered, said Army 1st Lt. Dennis Frey, a police mentor team leader with Troop A, 1st Battalion, 134th Cavalry Regiment (Task Force Fury).

“This wall saved their lives,” Frey said of the personnel in the police district headquarters.

The damaged rock wall Frey referenced was leveled between the two buildings. Now, a team of Afghan men is rebuilding the rock wall between the government building and the police district headquarters that will be replaced.

The vehicle that pulled up is referred to as a “bongo” truck, said Frey, who also serves as a contracting officer’s representative for Regional Support Command-Capital, headquartered at Camp Phoenix.

A 10-foot high rock wall was flattened by the blast. The impact to the wall, however, provided a partial shield of protection to the police headquarters building to the right of the “government building.” (Photo by Jon Connor)

The vehicle – intentionally painted dark blue like others that frequent the area — had 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate covered by fire wood for local contractors, Frey said. Hence, no one was suspicious of the truck when it drove up to the checkpoint.

Here, the driver was checked, as was the outside of the truck, but not the wood.

“They had done some significant research,” Frey said of the insurgent attack.

Prior to the blast, the RSC-Capital, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan and the Afghan National Police were working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to build a new police district headquarters located behind the current headquarters building.

The new headquarters, fortunately, was not damaged during the suicide bomber vehicle attack. However, the current police district headquarters received extensive damage.

The new headquarters building is 70 percent built and is expected to be completed by September, said Maj. Veronica Ko, RSC-Capital’s ANP support operations officer.

RSC-Capital, after a request from Afghan leadership, is working with the Kabul City Police Command and Ministry of Interior facility officers to provide the ANP with temporary facilities and working to improve overall security in the valley, Ko said.

For example, RSC-Capital conducted a site assessment with coalition police mentors a day after the blast. And, a joint meeting was held with MOI and KCPC facility officers, who requested assistance.

Three days later, another meeting was held with MoI and KCPC facility officers and the police mentors at the police district compound where responsibilities were directed. 

MOI gave the police district commander $2,000 to buy smaller items and help fix things up.

Within four days of the attack, RSC-Capital delivered five sleeping conexes, three office conexes, one arms room conex, one LSS conex (latrine, shower and shave), a HESCO wall for tactical entry control point, and 1,000 sand bags.

Trenches were also dug alongside the road from the first checkpoint leading to the sub-district governor’s compound, resulting in only one single entrance point to the police district headquarters.

Additionally, a construction contract was drawn up for repairing the existing septic tank, moving generator and fuel tanks onto the police district compound as they were about 100 yards from the site, and hooking up power/plumbing/water to the aforementioned conexes.

The quick fixes cost $415,000, Ko said, and the RSC-Capital is also spending $400,000 to fortify existing checkpoints along the Musahi Valley road and constructing two additional checkpoints to make the area more secure.

With these measures in place, the new Musahi Police District headquarters should open its doors in three months.

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Category: News - Afghan National Police, News - News

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