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Slovakia suffers first casualties in Iraq

THREE Slovak soldiers were killed in Iraq by an explosion on June 8, becoming the first casualties sustained by the Slovak contingent of the multinational division.

"[Before this] we had not had any wounded, nothing. This was the first," Anton Filo, the spokesman of the 105-strong unit, told the news wire TASR.

He was not able to confirm the exact cause of death, and added that, "there are different versions."

Three Slovak army engineers - Peter Dinga, Vladimir Simonides, and Miroslav Frkan - were among six soldiers killed when a Polish vehicle containing explosives for de-mining operations blew up accidentally, Slovakia's Defence Minister Juraj Liška confirmed earlier in the day.

The incident happened at 9:00, local time, near the town of al-Suwariya, about 150 kilometres from the Slovak unit's base at Hilla, 100 kilometres south of Baghdad.

The three other members of the Polish-led multinational division to be killed included one soldier from Latvia and two from Poland.

A commission led by the deputy commander of the Polish forces in Iraq and including a military prosecutor, doctors, and the Slovak unit's commander examined the site.

Most of Slovakia’s soldiers in Iraq are engineers performing mine-clearing activities.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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