Michael's Dispatches

Scorch & Puddle

puddle-finalimg_9661-webThe Puddle

28 February 2011
Urozgan Province, Afghanistan

This morning, we drove a dangerous unpaved road from Tarin Kot to Dehrawud, passing recent bomb craters and ancient wrecks of two Soviet tanks.  The muddy road often splashed brown soup across the windshield while grey skies threatened to unleash again.  More rain could bring flash floods that could leave us stranded in Taliban country.  We kept our heads covered as we splashed through villages and dark men and boys often tried to peer in.  Away from the villages, in the countryside, there were occasional flocks of sheep, goats, and camels, along with countless opportune ambush sites.

After about ninety minutes of beating down the jarring road, we arrived in Dehrawud where the Central Asia Development Group (CADG) is implementing work projects.  Manager Leonard Grami conducted his business, and then we took a walk downtown.  In a marketplace, I saw the blast damage on a “Hesco” barrier, and so I asked what happened.

An Afghan man said that a suicide bomber had walked this way toward his target, and when security forces saw him, they shot him dead.  But there he was.  Strapped with explosives and in a dangerous state downtown.  And so, according to the Afghan man, American troops put explosives on the dead man, then detonated him in place.  All that is left is the scorched Hesco, and the hole in the road, which on this gloomy day was a puddle.

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