Sen. Bennet returns from Afghanistan, Pakistan

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Thursday, September 01, 2011 at 9:02 am | More from The Colorado Independent

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet returned Tuesday from a trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan from August 23 to 30. His office said the purpose of the trip was to press government officials in the region to restrict the flow of ingredients used to make roadside bombs, the biggest killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Bennet also met with military leaders and Colorado service members in Afghanistan.

“The Coloradans serving in Afghanistan have done our state and our country proud,” Bennet said in a prepared statement. “Something must be done to stop the flow of materials used in roadside bombs from Pakistan to Afghanistan that continues to threaten the safety of our troops. I hope to continue working with the Pakistani government to end this ongoing threat.”

In Afghanistan, Bennet said he met with and thanked service members from Colorado at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, a forward operating base in Kandahar province and the Regional Command East headquarters.

In Pakistan, Bennet said he met with the president, prime minister, Army chief of staff, legislators and other officials to press them to implement a plan to establish tight restrictions on ingredients found in bombs which kill and injure American troops in Afghanistan.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are the No. 1 killer of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and are also used to target civilians and security forces in Pakistan. In 2010, 268 U.S. service members were killed by IEDs in Afghanistan, and 125 more have been killed by IEDs since the beginning of 2011, Bennet’s office said.

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