• Sweden edition
 
Sweden's Afghan forces face increased threat

Sweden's Afghan forces face increased threat

Published: 05 May 2011 10:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 May 2011 10:19 GMT+02:00

"The threat is general and stretches over the whole of Afghanistan. The state of readiness has been raised and is now at a significantly higher level than it was just a few weeks ago," lieutenant-colonel Peter Nilsson told the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper via telephone from Mazar-i-Sharif.

According to Nilsson, there have yet to be any incidents near the northern Afghan city which serves as the headquarters for about 600 Swedish soldiers deployed to take part in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan.

However, he added that there have been suicide-bomber attacks along the border to Pakistan and in Kabul.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid announced the offensive on Sunday in connection with a suicide bombing that killed four people and injured twelve.

The same day, Swedish troops were called in to support an Afghan military unit outside of Mazar-i-Sharif.

The Swedish soldiers faced small-caliber arms fire and rocket launchers in what became an intense firefight, according to GP.

On Tuesday, a Taliban commander referred to Rasiullah in Jowzjan province, where members of a Swedish Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) are stationed, and told the Expressen newspaper that while his comrades mourn the recent death of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader's passing wouldn't stop the Taliban from continuing its fight.

"It doesn't matter if he's dead. We're going to continue to fight until the intruders have left Afghanistan," he told the newspaper.

Sweden lost its fifth soldier in October 2010 since it first deployed troops in Afghanistan at the start of 2002.

In December, the Riksdag, voted to extend the country's military mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2011.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

10:50 May 5, 2011 by Grindsprint
God I´m thankful that we have no religious parties in sweden. Religion belongs in the dark ages
11:19 May 5, 2011 by HYBRED
Your telling God that religion belongs in the dark ages? Aren't you risking getting a bolt of lightning up your @ss?
11:45 May 5, 2011 by Grindsprint
Haha yeah, maybe... but so far nothing. Btw I posted my above comment to the wrong article. I have no idea how that happened :P
12:37 May 5, 2011 by countrysidedrive
Over the years I always admired that Sweden had no enemies. Sweden was neutral. Now I fear that Sweden is starting to make enemies. Its understandable to be apart of the EU for economic reasons but why does Sweden need to be in Afghanistan. I truly do not believe it is in the best interest of Sweden to take sides. I wish Afghanistan all the best but it is a crappy place and nothing anyone does will ever change that.
15:43 May 5, 2011 by Rishonim
Countrysidedrive, Sweden is a very large player in the weapon industry and most of their military technology is not for domestic use. They sell instruments to kill people so by definition they are involved whether you like it or not.
15:56 May 5, 2011 by Kevtravels
The Swedish govt should definitely consider sending more troops to increase their contingent in the North. They need more helicopters, some tanks, definitely more troops enabled for combat. At the very least they need more troops to train their Afghan counterparts.

It's a very interesting thing as the Swedes have no requirement to even have troops in Afghanistan since they're not a part of NATO but at the same time, they need to have enough capabilities. They're in the North which is tons safer than the South/East but at the same time their RoE is very limited and their German counterparts don't have enough capabilities to come to their rescue if it's needed.
16:29 May 5, 2011 by Rishonim
Why should their German counterparts would need to come to their rescue? All the need is to be armed and tons of cans of surströmming and they should be OK. They are in the military right?
17:09 May 5, 2011 by AHA
Bring our boys and girls back home before more lose their lives. There is absolutly nothing we can achieve there. People in military uniforms are always considered as a threat to the locals. And hey, bring back our planes and pilots from Libya too.
21:42 May 5, 2011 by Kevtravels
@Rishonin,

Well I can imagine the average Swedish soldier serving in Afghanistan haven't had much combat service at least compared to those of say the Danish or Norwegians or even the Germans. It's just a helpful note for the Swedes to have enough resources for their commitment. It's not like they'll send a thousand troops, but even a hundred more would help with their mission.
00:31 May 6, 2011 by Bender B Rodriquez
@ Kev: ISAF was initiated by the UN but is led by NATO. Sweden and other non-NATO nations are in Afganistan because it is a UN sanctioned operation.

The Danes operate alongside the British and have had the most casualties so far. The Norwegians operate alongside the Swedes and the Finns in Mazar-i-Sharif. In 2010 Swedish troops were involved in about 60 gunfights.
23:23 May 7, 2011 by wenddiver
Sweden is doing as much as the Germans, the Danes are a whole another war. They have gone after the Taliban like Terrier Dogs after rats. The Danes man for man may be the Best Army in Europe, very Battle Ready, or as the US says "ain't Scared". That said the British and Canadians were really great too.

The Brunt of the fighting has been with the US Divisions. They simply have the heavy lifting ability to get things done and hate the Talliban to a man.

Spring Offensive, ha, ha, the US would send them trucks to drive to battle in to get them to come out and fight. Every time they engage US Infantry Divisions they get slaughtered. Every time they plant a bomb, it is an admission they are unable to win a fight against US forces. They are losing in the actual fihting.
Today's headlines
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

970
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN