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Monday, July 06, 2009

Afghan Insurgents Cross-Dress To Escape U.S. Marines

Military official: Afghan insurgents dressed as women to escape
CNN) — Insurgents locked in a standoff with U.S. Marines tricked them by dressing up as women to escape, a task force spokesman said Monday.
Women and children had been caught in the standoff between the armed groups, but some of the women were not what they seemed, according to task force spokesman Capt. William Pelletier.
After the Marines began taking fire from insurgents in the town of Khan Neshin, located in south Afghanistan near the Helmand River, the militants ran into a multiple-room compound, the U.S. military said.
Unsure of whether civilians were inside the compound, the Marines had an interpreter talk to the insurgents, said the official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly. After some time, a number of women and children left the compound, the military official said.
The insurgents denied any more civilians were inside, the official said, but the Marines held their fire anyway. About 4 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET), in the midst of the standoff, another group of women and children emerged from the compound, the official said. As of 4:30 p.m., the Marines were holding all fire and waiting out the insurgents, the official said.
Finally, a screaming woman emerged from the compound with a bullet wound to her hand, Pelletier said. Then, another group of women come out, covered from head to toe according to custom, he said. The Marines attended to the wounded woman while the others walked away.
When the Marines went into the compound, they discovered it empty, Pelletier said. That’s when they realized the fighters had dressed up as women to escape, he said.
“Apparently these were tall, rather broad-shouldered women with hairy feet,” Pelletier said.


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