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Bodies Flown home to Sweden

Published onsdag 10 februari 2010 kl 11.11
The fallen Swedes are honored by their comrades in Afghanistan

A military plane carrying the bodies of the two Swedish soldiers killed in Afghanistan at the weekend set off for Sweden on Wednesday morning.

The plane left Marmal outside Mazar-i-Sharifis at 8.30 am Swedish time and is expected to land at Ärna airport outside Uppsala later this evening when a ceremony will take place. Defence minister Sten Tolgfors will represent the government.

Gunnar Andersson and Johan Palmlöv, both from Stockholm were killed along with their interpreter on Sunday while out on foot patrol in northern Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the Swedish Defence confirmed that a number of people have been taken in for questioning in Afghanistan, in connection with the shooting. The Swedish tabloid Expressen reported that three men have been arrested , suspected of collaborating with the man who fired the deadly shots.

The man who fired the shots was dressed in Afghan police uniform and had previously had some collaboration with the Swedish Armed Forces in Afghanistan, although it is not yet confirmed what kind of relation they were in. After he shot the two Swedes and their Afghan interpreter, he was immediately killed by other Swedish troops.

A third Swedish soldier was shot in the foot during the shooting, and is currently being treated at the German Field Hospital in Marmal.

Troops from the same platoon of the two dead soldiers will end their tour of duty and fly back to Sweden next week. They'll be replaced by 30 troops from the K3 regiment in Karlsborg.

"It's an extraordinary occurrence when two officers in a Swedish platoon are been killed.That's why we have taken this decision, " said defence chief Anders Lindström to Dagens Nyheter.

The Swedish ISAF-contingency consist of some 500 soldiers, and is located in and around Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

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