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Afghanistan timeline April 2002

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Afghanistan timeline

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April 17, 2002

  • Two U.S. pilots, Majors Harry Schmidt and William Umbach, returning from a 10-hour patrol, at more than 15,000 feet, spotted surface-to-air fire and feared it was from Taliban forces. Thinking Umbach was under attack, Schmidt asked flight control permission to fire his 20 mm cannons, to which flight control replied "hold fire." Four seconds later, Schmidt said he was "rolling in, in self defense." He dropped a laser-guided bomb 35 seconds after that, wounding eight and killing Sgt. Marc Leger, Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer, Pvt. Richard Green and Pvt. Nathan Smith, members of the 3rd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. The troops were at Tarnak Farms, a former al-Qaida training area near Kandahar that allied forces had begun using as a practice range. The Canadians were firing anti-tank and machine-gun rounds horizontally, not vertically in a way that would have threatened the two F-16s.

April 9, 2002

  • A joint program between UNHCR and Iran encouraging repatriation of Afghan refugees went into effect. (see details of the UNHCR Afghan repatriation programs)

April 6, 2002

  • Three Danish and two German explosives experts were killed while defusing Soviet-built SA-3 anti-aircraft missiles near Kabul's airport. Eight others were injured. In November 2002, a Danish-German report would conclude that the explosives experts did not follow safety regulations while disarming two of the missiles. By March 2003 two Danish officers would face preliminary charges of negligence.

April 3, 2002

April 2, 2002

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