Soldiers with the 3rd Kandak, 3rd Brigade, 205th Afghan Army Corps assisted in securing the site along with Soldiers from Combined Task Force Spartan’s 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, who conducted traffic control points and dismounted patrols throughout the surrounding area. The Afghan Army Soldiers also conducted a patrol closer to the mosque to show a visible security presence, and interact with the people in attendance.
According to Afghan security officials, approximately 200 people attended the prayer gathering last year, and in 2008, the Taliban openly hosted the gathering at the same mosque as a sign of defiance. The dramatic increase in attendance this year was due to increasing security and the Afghan people’s view of their security forces and the government being able to safeguard the area.
The Afghan Soldiers also handed out approximately 500 pounds of humanitarian aid, including food and cooking supplies.
The commander of the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Greg Anderson, said that overall, the mood at the mosque was jovial and festive, with children and families congregating in the outdoor mosque.
Eid ul Fitr is a three-day Muslim celebration marking the end of Ramazan, the month of fasting. During this time, Afghans visit with family and friends, host dinners and parties, and attend religious services at mosques and town gathering areas.
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