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AFGHANISTAN

Swedish soldiers shot in Afghanistan firefight

Two Swedish soldiers are recovering after sustaining injuries in a firefight in the vicinity of Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan late on Thursday evening.

The Swedish soldiers were patrolling with Finnish soldiers when their ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) armoured vehicle came under rocket fire. The soldiers were then attacked with high calibre rifles.

In the ensuing skirmish one Swedish soldier was shot in the leg while another was shot in the hip.

“He was operated on during the night and the condition of both is described as stable. They are currently in the German field hospital in Marmal,” Philip Simon at the Swedish defence forces told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The soldiers engaged the enemy fighter and at least three of the attackers were reported to have been killed.

After the exchange of fire the operation continued its patrol as scheduled.

Swedish forces have been operating in Afghanistan since 2002. Since then two Swedes have been killed.

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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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