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AFGHANISTAN

Five Swedish soldiers injured in Afghanistan

Five Swedish soldiers have been injured in an explosion that also claimed the life of a local foreign language interpreter, the Swedish Armed Forces said in a statement on Wednesday.

Five Swedish soldiers injured in Afghanistan
The soldiers were travelling an a RG32M light patrol vehicle, or Galten.

The exact extent of the soldiers’ injuries is not yet known, but military spokesperson Lena Parkvall was able to provide some details.

“As far as I know, they range from serious injuries to less serious injuries,” she told the TT news agency.

While on patrol at around 10am Swedish time on Wednesday, the Swedes hit a roadside improvised explosive device west of Mazar-e-Sharif, where Swedish troops in Afghanistan are stationed.

The group was travelling in a BAE Land Systems manufactured RG32M light armoured patrol vehicle, known colloquially in Sweden as Galten (‘the boar’).

Those injured in the incident were taken to a field hospital located at Camp Marmal, home of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Regional Command for the north of Afghanistan, according to the Swedish military, which is now working to notify relatives of the soldiers involved.

“I’m deeply saddened for those affected, of course. But it shows the seriousness of the operation,” said Swedis foreign minister Carl Bildt, speaking to news agency TT on the phone from Kabul.

Bildt, whose visit to the Afghan capital coincided with the attack, said it was his understanding that the Swedish troops were working as part of a wider operation involving Afghan forces.

“Somebody has said that this was an attack on Swedish forces. That was not the case,” said Bildt.

“Apparently they had disarmed one of these explosive devices, but clearly they hadn’t found the second one and drove into it,” he added.

Two Swedish servicemen have so far lost their lives in Afghanistan. In November 2005 two lieutenants were killed by a roadside bomb in the north of the country

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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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