FAMILIES, state officials and hundreds of other people attended the funerals of two soldiers killed in a December 27 attack on a convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Both were buried with full military honours, the TASR newswire reported on January 2.

The bereaved, along with President Ivan Gašparovic, Defence Minister Martin Glváč and Chief of General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces Peter Vojtek, attended the funeral of soldier Patrik Fraštia (aged 39), held at the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Žilina.

“It is a tragedy ... I’m convinced that the whole of Slovakia is now in mourning along with the affected family ... I would like to express my deep sympathy and grief in this way,” Gašparovič said, as quoted by TASR, after the funeral.

During the service Vojtek read out an order issued by Glváč to promote Fraštia posthumously to the rank of sergeant.

“I can hardly find the right words to express what has happened and how deeply this has affected us,” Vojtek said, as quoted by TASR. “We all know how difficult it is to take part in foreign missions in which our soldiers carry out their tasks.”

Later in the day, Gašparovič, Glváč and Vojtek attended funeral of the second killed soldier, first lieutenant Edmund Makovník (aged 34) in Košice.

Glváč expressed his readiness to help the bereaved to endure the changes that await them after the departure of a loved one and at the same time expressed his deep condolences.

“Edo was the top expert in the tactical air force group,” said Ľubomír Šebo, commander of the 5th Special Purpose Regiment in which Makovník and Fraštia served, as quoted by TASR. “It is a great loss not only for our regiment but also for the entire armed forces. We can count such specialists on the fingers of one hand.”

Makovník was promoted posthumously to the rank of captain, based on the order issued by Glváč, TASR reported.

According to one of the members of the 5th Special Purpose Regiment in Žilina, colleagues could always rely on Makovník for help and advice. He had always belonged among the elite as a soldier and as a man, he said, as reported by TASR.

Both church services were led by Military Chaplain of the Slovak Armed Forces and Armed Corps František Rábek, TASR wrote.

A suicide car bomber attacked a convoy of international troops in an eastern district of Kabul, killing three service members and wounding six Afghans, officials said as reported by the Associated Press. The bomber struck the convoy about a kilometre from NATO’s Camp Phoenix base, said Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanakzai, who reported the Afghan injuries, as quoted by the AP.

Meanwhile, an investigation into the incident has been launched. It is being carried out under the supervision of the US, and Slovak experts are also expected to participate, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR, AP

For more information about this story please see: Bodies of Slovak soldiers killed in Afghanistan back in Slovakia and BREAKING: Two Slovak soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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