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Swedish soldier killed in Afghanistan

Published söndag 17 oktober 2010 kl 10.44
The soldiers' mission was to patrol an area previously controlled by insurgents. This picture shows and armoured car 203, the same type that the soldier was killed in.

A Swedish soldier was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday by a mine that exploded under his armoured car.

This brings the total number of Swedish soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan to five.

Swedish radio news talked to major-general Berndt Grundevik, who described what happened.

"There were two platoons, around 50 soldiers, patrolling an area about 40 kilometres of Mazar-i-Sharif. One platoon, including a Combat Vehicle 90 armoured car, was involved in combat and called for back up. The second platoon, with a pansarterrängbil 203 armoured car, came to rescue them. And when they came to the scene, they drove over a home made bomb, and the soldier who was killed was in that vehicle."

The dead soldier, who was the commander of the armoured car, has been named as Kenneth Wallin, from the Stockholm area. He had arrived in Afghanistan in May and was to serve a tour until December.

General Grundevik said to news agency TT that, as yet, the military will not say who the attackers were. "I have no details on that. The operation is still ongoing."

The Swedish minister for defence has commented on his blog. Minister Sten Tolgfors (Moderate Party) wrote that "It is with great sorrow I have received confirmation that Sweden has lost a soldier."

Attacks on Swedish troops have become more common in recent days. Thursday saw two incidents where shots were fired at Swedish trooops, near the city of Sar-i-Pul. Last week a Swedish patrol came under fire and called for air support, west of Mazar-i-Sharif, and in mid-September a Swedish soldier was injured when an improvised explosive device exploded under his vehicle, in the same area.

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