Fire fight Swedes return to Afghanistan base

The Swedish and Finnish troops that came under fire in Afghanistan on Saturday were able to return safely to base on Sunday morning.

None of the soldiers sustained injuries in the fire fight, the Swedish defence forces confirmed on their website on Sunday morning.

The Swedish-Finnish patrol was attacked at 5.30pm on Saturday evening and they returned fire. The skirmish, which lasted an hour, occurred 40 kilometres west of the city of Sar-i-Pol in northern Afghanistan.

The area is located approximately 150 kilometres west of Mazar-i-Sharif, where the Swedish International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)-led force (FS17) is based.

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.

The Swedish-Finnish troops were unable to return to base immediately due to the darkness and rugged terrain.

This is the second time in recent days that Swedish troops had come under fire in Afghanistan. The Local reported on Friday that Swedish forces had killed at least three in a fire fight in Aqchah in northern Afghanistan.

“The Swedish-Finnish patrol returned fire in self-defence in an emergency situation. Thanks to their actions they were able to escape without losses. The patrol returned to a nearby base at dawn,” according to the Finnish lieutenant-colonel Ahti Kurvinen, acting head of the Swedish-Finnish force.

According to the Swedish defence forces it is unknown whether the opposing forces sustained any casualties in the exchange of fire.

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