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AFGHANISTAN

Swedish soldiers ‘unstable’ after Afghanistan explosion

The conditions of two of the soldiers injured in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan on Wednesday are reported to have deteriorated overnight.

Swedish soldiers 'unstable' after Afghanistan explosion

In a statement, he Swedish Armed Forces revealed that a 22-year-old stationed in the Torne Valley and a 30 years old from Luleå, both in northern Sweden, are in an unstable condition.

Head of press Torbjörn F. Gustafsson was unable to confirm whether their injuries are life-threatening.

“Doctors say their situation is unstable,” he told news agency TT.

“Unstable means that they have become worse.”

Two aircraft with medical personnel have been dispatched to bring home four of the five Swedish soldiers involved in the incident and fly them directly to Uppsala University Hospital.

“The goal is to get them home as quickly as possible,” said Bertil Starfelt, staff doctor at Sweden’s military headquarters.

“At the moment we cannot confirm which of the soldiers will be transported first,” he added.

“That decision will be taken after a medical assessment in Afghanistan.”

In total around 500 Swedish soldiers have been deployed to Afghanistan. After the incident took place the military followed routine procedures for responding to the situation.

“Talks and a debriefing were held throughout the whole battalion,” Gustafsson said.

The soldiers were on patrol at around 10am Swedish time on Wednesday when they hit a roadside bomb west of Mazar-e-Sharif, where Swedish troops are stationed.

The explosion also claimed the life of a local foreign language interpreter.

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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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