NATO troops set up 13 checkpoints to win battle for Kandahar

August 4th, 2010 - 1:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Kabul, Aug.4 (ANI): For the first time, American troops are aiming to rid Kandahar of insurgents and warlords, and as a first step, army engineers are building a ring of 13 checkpoints to control every major road in and out of the city.

CBS News quoted Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eli Gerhard of the 864th Engineer Battalion, as saying: “You can’t just do it all with one checkpoint. That’s why there’s strategic places they are set up.”

“Each checkpoint is a huge - and expensive - project. One costs more than a million dollars, and it takes time and money to get permission to use the land. You come in, you start building and then the owners or the government comes in, it causes a lot of headaches,” Gerhard added.

The checkpoints are designed to keep traffic moving while making sure that no guns, drugs or insurgents get through.

It’s the Afghan cops that do the searching, but there’s always an American soldier nearby, keeping a very close eye.

The Afghan police are notorious for using checkpoints as toll booths, where drivers are forced to pay a bribe.

Putting American soldiers in close, constant contact with the civilian population is dangerous, and they are never allowed to forget it.

Everybody is told to remain focused. (ANI)

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