NATO says Taliban food poisoning claim false
Posted: February 28th, 2012 - 7:47pm
NATO has dismissed a claim by the Taliban that it killed five ISAF soldiers by poisoning their food.
While there was evidence of a "suspected attempt to tamper with food items" at a base in eastern Afghanistan, it was discovered before any troops could be affected.
An investigation is now underway to establish what exactly happened and whether the Taliban did indeed have any involvement.
A dining facility employee at a base run by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force alerted his supervisors to the possibility of tampering and they immediately took steps to shut down the facility before anyone was affected, FOX News Channel reported.
Earlier, AFP quoted an ISAF spokesman as saying lab tests discovered "traces of bleach" in fruit and coffee at the base in Nangarhar Province.
"There were no injuries, no fatality. The investigation is ongoing," Master Sergeant Nicholas Conner said, adding that NATO staff, Afghans and nationals from a third country worked at the dining facilities.
The Taliban claimed Monday that they had poisoned soldiers at a U.S. base in Afghanistan by recruiting a cook who worked there.
A NATO press release Monday said, "While there is a suspected attempt to tamper with food items that is under investigation, the suspected tampering was discovered before any troops could be affected."
"No one got sick," said Lt. Col. Chad Carroll, a spokesman for international forces in the east. He said that a dining facility worker told his superiors that food might have been tampered with, and when they ran tests they found "traces of bleach in a couple of foods."
"We do not know if this was intentional, if it was what the local worker was referring to, or whether it was simply spillage from cleaning," Carroll said.