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Afghanistan

Minute's silence to honor dead soldier

Published måndag 18 oktober 2010 kl 11.10
The armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan

Two more Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan have been seriously wounded as the troops and the nation mourn the death of the fifth Swedish soldier killed on duty there - fatally wounded when his armoured vehicle hit a land mine over the week-end.

The infantry regiment I19 in Boden held a minute's silence on Monday morning to honor Kenneth Wallin, the Swedish soldier who died in Afghanistan on Saturday. 22 year old Wallin was killed when the armoured vehicle he was driving in hit a home made bomb, and IED.

Wallin is the 5th Swedish soldier to die in Afghanistan. His death has sparked a new debate over the Swedish troops in the country. In only a few weeks time, the government will present its plans to extend the Swedish deployment in Afghanistan.

Since the government does not have a majority of its own, it needs to seek support from the opposition. The Government does not want to set any definite end-dates to the Swedish deployment, whereas red-greens have said they want to begin withdrawing the approximately 500 Swedish soldiers already next year, and to finally leave Afghanistan by 2013.

Among the red-greens, the Left party seems more adamant when it comes to forcing the withdrawal, while the Social Democrat's foreign policy spokes person is more keen to talk about the withdrawal "depends on the Afghan government being able to take over the security and the responsibility".

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