Sunday, August 14, 2011

Swedish soldier injured in Afghanistan

Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:37AM GMT
A Swedish soldier in Afghanistan (file photo)
A serviceman with the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has sustained injuries after he came under fire by militants in northern Afghanistan.

A Swedish soldier was on a routine mission together with Afghan security forces on Saturday morning when they were fired upon north of the village Chimtal, which is located about 425 kilometers (264 miles) northwest of Kabul, the Swedish army said in a statement, the Stockholm News reported.

The statement added that the Swedish soldier was wounded in the leg and was transferred to a German field hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif. His condition is not life-threatening, but he will be taken to Sweden for further treatment.

Five Swedish soldiers have been killed since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Sweden currently has 500 troops stationed in the Central Asian country, according to the Swedish Armed Forces' website.

A total of to 392 foreign troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan so far this year.

Last year, nonetheless, remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties with a death toll of 711. The number eclipsed the previous record of 521, set in 2009.

Hundreds of civilians have also been killed in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged over the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.

The rising death toll for Afghan civilians as a result of NATO and US military operations has increased the tension between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Western allies.



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