Roadside bomb

Swedish soldier wounded in Afghanistan

The Swedish soldier who was wounded by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Chimtal, Afghanistan, this morning has been operated on and is due to fly home as soon as doctors say he is ready, according to the Swedish Armed Forces. The soldier will continue to receive treatment in Sweden.

While the soldier's wounds are not said to be life-threatening, he was helicoptered to a German field hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif for surgery on his arms and legs.

The soldier was out on a routine assignment with Afghan colleagues in an armored car when the bomb exploded. He was then transported by helicopter to the field hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif, reports news agency TT.

The soldier's relatives in Kalmar County have been informed.

A Swedish UN employee was killed in an attack in Afghanistan in 2011. In 2010, three Swedish soldiers and an Afghan interpreter colleague were killed.

Sweden's military presence, which is part of a UN-mandated NATO-led mission, is decreasing in Afghanistan. By the end of this year, around 400 soldiers are expected to be in the country. That number will drop to 200 by the end of 2014.

An expert in military strategy with the National Defence College, Stefan Ring, believes violence in Afghanistan could escalate as the foreign military presence scales down.

"There's a risk the Taliban and others will see the presence weakening and use it as a chance to demonstrate their strength and give the Western World a last reprimand," Ring tells TT.