A social scientist in the Army's controversial Human Terrain program was en route to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas after being set on fire in and apparent Taliban attack in Afghanistan. It's the third time in five months that a Human Terrain Team member has been killed or seriously wounded.
Paula Lloyd was interviewing locals in the southern village of Maywand on Tuesday as part of her duties in a Human Terrain Team, which embeds civilian cultural experts into U.S. combat units. She approached a man carrying a fuel jug and they began talking about the price of gas. Suddenly, the man doused Lloyd in a flammable liquid and set her on fire. She suffered second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body, a Human Terrain source told Danger Room.
The injuries could have been worse. Lloyd's teammate immediately threw her into a nearby water source to douse the flames, then Lloyd was sped to a nearby medical facility. Fortunately, the first doctor to treat her was a U.S. Army burn specialist. After being stabilized, Lloyd was evacuated to the military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and is now en route to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Lloyd is in "stable, but guarded condition," the source said.
The Taliban took credit for the attack on their website. The Taliban has a long history of setting women on fire as a way of punishing them for perceived immodesty.
SWJ will provide updates as more information becomes available.
HTS Members Killed in the Line of Duty:
Michael Bhatia, a social scientist team member assigned to the Afghanistan Human Terrain Team (HTT) AF1, in support of Task Force Currahee based at FOB Salerno, Khowst Province, was killed on 7 May 2008 when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by an IED. Michael was traveling in a convoy of four vehicles, which were en route to a remote sector of Khowst province. For many years, this part of Khowst had been plagued by a violent inter-tribal conflict concerning land rights. Michael had identified this tribal dispute as a research priority, and was excited to finally be able to visit this area. This trip was the brigade's initial mission into the area, and it was their intention to initiate a negotiation process between the tribes.
Nicole Suveges, a social scientist team member assigned to the Iraq Human Terrain Team (HTT) IZ3, in support of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division based at FOB Prosperity, Baghdad, Iraq, was killed on 24 June 2008 when a bomb exploded at the District Council building in southern Sadr City where she was attending a meeting of the District Advisory Council, which was scheduled to elect a new chairman. Nicole had almost completed a PhD in political science at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation was titled "Markets & Mullahs: Global Networks, Transnational Ideas and the Deep Play of Political Culture." Formerly, she served in Sarajevo as an Army Reservist in support of SFOR/NATO. For the past two years, Nicole had worked in Iraq, initially as a project lead for polling and later as a subject matter expert for Multinational Corps Iraq (MNCI).
Pray for Paula Lloyd - Christopher Albon, War and Health
Our Thoughts are with Paula Lloyd and Her Family - Drew Conway, ZIA