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AFGHANISTAN

Swedes kill three in Afghanistan fire fight

Swedish military forces were involved in a battle in Aqchah in northern Afghanistan on Thursday night. No Swedish soldiers have been reported injured.

Swedes kill three in Afghanistan fire fight

The battle began around 6.30pm on Thursday night when opposition groups ambushed the Swedish troops.

The Swedes were in armoured wheeled vehicles and later received reinforcements from several soldiers in a Combat Vehicle 90.

“The firefights were intermittant during the evening and night,” Veronica Sandström, press officer for the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten), told the TT news agency.

The Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reported Friday that three members of the attacking troops were killed and an additional two injured.

Aqchah is approximately 40 kilometres west of Mazar-i-Sharif, the largest city in northern Afghanistan and the base for the Swedish force led by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

ISAF is a NATO-led security and development mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council in 2001. The base is home to Swedish and Finnish peacekeeping forces.

DN reported the attack came in the wake of several other incursions in the region.

“We have had three incidents within a month and it is more than usual. The violence in Afghanistan has ramped up due to the elections on August 20th,” Regnér told DN.

The exact number of Swedish soldiers involved in the battle remains unknown, but 40 to 50 Swedish military personnel are stationed in Aqchah.

In Afghanistan, there are a total of approximately 400 Swedish military personnel, according to the Armed Forces.

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NATO

Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.

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