A ceremony took place at the Kandahar airport on Wednesday, July 10 for the Slovak soldier who was killed in a shooting spree the previous day. On the same day, a special government plane will bring his remains back to his homeland, the SITA newswire wrote.
One Slovak soldier was killed at the Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, with another two Slovaks suffering serious injuries and four others sustaining light injuries. An Afghan national army soldier shot at the soldiers from a security tower during training. The shooter was taken into custody after the incident and questioned. Spokesperson for the Kandahar city government Javid Faisal added that the preliminary investigation indicates that the shooting was an “accident” rather than a so-called insider attack, as had been reported by the AP newswire. However, Slovak representatives have called it a terrorist attack.
Prime Minister Robert Fico, Defence Minister Martin Glváč and representatives of all foreign contingents present in Kandahar took part in the ceremony.
“I would like to praise this (mourning) act, as I deem it cowardice to shoot at fellows-in-arms from such a short distance and to cause such impacts,” Fico said. The Prime Minister also visited the camp of the Slovak contingent in Kandahar and the seriously wounded Slovak soldier who was shot in his chest, who is able to communicate and whose condition is stable. The other soldier who sustained a serious injury was shot in the head and his condition is said to be more critical. For now, he is being kept in an induced coma.
The wounded soldier who is able to communicate was identified as Milan Kudera by the Sme daily and quoted as saying, “They shot at us without any warning from behind, from about 30 metres [away]. We shot back.” The wounded soldiers were then taken out from the vehicle and evacuated to a nearby hospital. “I started firing at the tower,” Kudera added.
Minister Glváč was not able to confirm what happened to the Afghani shooter or whether he was injured.
Sme also wrote that Slovakia has a total of 234 soldiers in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, and that since 2004 more than 3,000 of them have been rotated within the operation.
(Sources: SITA, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
10. Jul 2013 at 14:00