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Three arrested for killing of Swedish soldiers

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 9 Feb 2010, 13:22

Published: 09 Feb 2010 13:22 GMT+01:00

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"The police believe that they could have a connection to the man who shot," the newspaper's correspondent reports from the Swedish Camp Northern Lights in Mazar-e Sharif.

"The police are talking as if they are terrorists, but can not say which group they belong to before the investigation is completed," the correspondent reports.

The plane due to carry the slain soldiers home to Sweden has been delayed.

The plane had been due to carry 28-year-old Captain Johan Palmlöv and 31-year-old Lieutenant Gunnar Andersson home from Afghanistan on Tuesday and had been scheduled to land at around 6pm local time at Ärna airport near Uppsala.

Due to adverse weather conditions in Afghanistan the plane was not able to take off, according to a Swedish military statement on Tuesday morning.

"As soon as the weather allows the plane will take off from the German airforce base Marmal outside of Mazar-e Sharif."

A farewell ceremony will be held for the Swedish officers in the chapel at Camp Northern Lights just prior to their departure to give their fellow soldiers the chance to pay their respects.

A further homecoming ceremony will be held at Ärna airport on arrival.

In the two days following the death of the officers and their Afghan interpreter Shahab, the Swedish forces in Afghanistan have been working intensively to offer support to those soldiers that remain stationed in the war-torn country.

In a statement on the Swedish military's website, it is underlined that support from Sweden has been important in this work.

"We are grateful for the support given by friends and acquaintances and from the Swedish people," said Lieutenant Mattias Isaksson, rifle company platoon commander.

"It gives us extra strength to carry on with our important work. Johan's and Gunnar's deaths should not be in vain," Lieutenant Colonel Gustaf Wallerfelt continued.

Swedish public opinion remains in favour of maintaining troops in Afghanistan despite Sunday's death, a new Sifo poll published in the Aftonbladet newspaper on Tuesday shows.

Almost half of the Swedish population, 46 percent, think that the troops should stay with 35 percent stating that the 500-strong Swedish ISAF-led force (FS18) should be brought home. 19 percent expressed no opinion.

Story continues below…

The changes on a previous poll from 2009 are only marginal.

Of the parliamentary political parties, only the Left Party has expressed open opposition to the deployment.

Palmlöv, Andersson and Shahab were part of the patrol which came under fire on Sunday near a police station, 40 kilometres west of Mazar-e Sharif, near the village of Gurgi Tappeh.

Soldiers in the patrol have confirmed that their attacker was dressed in an Afghan police officer's uniform. His identity is the subject of the military police investigation.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:02 February 9, 2010 by GLO
I am sorry for the loss of life, only God knows the meaning.. The family of humans value life and no one has a right to kill another, so God will gudge the killers,they will pay for thier sins against Humanity..

My son has deployed three times to this area and would go back again. We are at War not of our own choice. We can not win, so we must defend, even the Afgans.. Our deeds and purpose are well intended. Keep in mind the Long war will last beyond our sight..But what can you do when some one thinks they will go to Heaven for killing his fellow man. God will settle that forever.

Sweden keep your faith in just cause... Defend the weak... Help your Brother...
18:30 February 9, 2010 by Nemesis

Well said. The troops deserve our support.

It was the politicians who started the war. Those who have a problem with the war, blame the politicians, not the soldiers.

The soldiers needs and should be given our full support.
20:10 February 9, 2010 by Newyork-Växjö
Trust me everybody these days know the value of 'LIFE' nobody loves to kill or to be killed . Only some sick minded would go for killing.

What is the cause of these wars and where it started from? my analyze is Germans killed millions, US /UK sent all Israelis to Palestine to occupy. And they support them, sending them billion dollars each year to kill more.

Alll these problems are in this world because of US Policy. ' I am talking about US policy, not the people. American people are great people and I like them. but their government suc ks. they are terrorist #1

They started war in Afghanistan supporting Afghans to kill Russians, Educated every Afghan child in camp (peshawar Pakistan) to learn about guns and bombs at schools, their math was like this 2 gun + 2 guns = 4guns . In the children books you could find article that my uncle killed 5 Communists .And they have 1000 of Army bases around the world.

People of Afghanistan just do not like to be invaded. So deal with them in peace. I feel sorry for European that why they follow what US tells them? US seems to me like Husband of EU.

just pull out all Swedes from Afghanistan and let alone the US to deal with them and you will notice USA would collapse like Russia. And if any country would be involve in war, specially in Afghanistan would be fuked up. Afghanistan war is not simple to win but it is impossible.

I am sorry to say but all of these recent wars started by NON-MUSLIM Countries or By Christian politician. Russia invaded Afghanistan, Israel invaded /invading , US is invading almost everywhere.. Iraq,Afghanistan.......

UK got tired of invading now wants share from US, France went to Africa because other locations were already busy LOL. OMG this sentence is funny hahaha.

And they (france) were kicked out, so they are now mad and wants some attention by banning womens, they are scared of French tradition? what is france tradition beside to have long mustache? LOL You see now SOME NON-MUSLIMS COUNTRIES are mother of terrorists and problem of this world. They should change their policy and method . it is not an old time to just invade . Now all people understand the value of business,lands,oils, you could do that 200 years ago where ppl did not know oil.

I love to see all Swedes come back a life and they should not kill there either, poor afghans are being killed every hour there. thanks
20:56 February 9, 2010 by Alex Coman
Oh boy, there s a man in need here: Newyork-Växjö.

He doesn t know how cruel is the life in the muslim world, how they( muslims) enslaved people until last century, how they hate and kill each other( on religion or ethnic bases), how hard is life in their countries were laws are made to keep all women in dark and so on...

I don t understand a thing; if the life is so good there, in the muslim world, why all muslims try to settle here, in Europe or in USA?

I m not saying muslims are the bad boys of this world, but, man, they are not just victims. They are not innocents. About french tradition... Read some books!
21:09 February 9, 2010 by mdl29907
I agree with the above comments re: NY/Vaxjo. Not sure if his/her facts are all straight. As far as blaming Americans for "Everything" wrong in the world is a simplistic explanantion. I find that those who do that have a problem with objective self-evaluation of themselves, their culture, religion etc.... and jsut need to scapegoat some group for their own insecurities/failings.

Personally saddened by the loss of any life in Afganistan whether Afgan, European or American. My personal hope is, that after the US and Foreign forces withdraw which ultimately they will, that Afganistan will be in better shape than it was under the Taliban. How anyone can say that the Taliban were better than the current regime, although not perfect by any stretch, is beyond me. I could note the Taliban's human rights, womens rights, educational rights records but I think they are well known. With this type of endeabour only history can judge whether the sacrifice will have been worth it but IMHO it seems to be so
21:14 February 9, 2010 by vladd777
I say 'hats off to the Swedish soldiers'...people who incite children to become suicide bombers and who blow up girls' schools and throw acid in the faces of schoolgirls because they do not wish them to become 'wise' do not deserve to keep their own miserable lives.

Why can't we discuss 'Only good foreign soldier on Afghan soil is a dead one': Myrdal?

För feg???
22:17 February 9, 2010 by Newyork-Växjö
Who created TALIBAN? Where did they get funds from?

Who taught afghans fighter to target civilians during Russian time?

Which rocket model they were using when targeting Kabul civilians?

If you see these extremist these days it is gift of America.

Otherwise in Afghanistan there was no extremists before. But it was US Army generals teaching them in Pakistan camps how to target civilians.

If US wanted they could make those leader democrat but no they wanted them for these days to legalize their attacks. otherwise Russia and china would kick US butt if they came without an excuse. forget it ,US Army cant fight with un-advancement army of taliban.

US POLICY turns these people into suicide bomber. they support ISRAEL and Jews killing Palestinian and destroying their house . nothing for them to live so they commit the suicide.
23:21 February 9, 2010 by tigger007
first of all put a lid on it Newyork-Växjö. you need to take off the new york tag off your name,you aren't from america with those anti-american comments. this isn't about us policy,it's about brave soldiers who died. when you bad mouth us policy you bad mounth americans simple as that. what would you do almighty DUSCHE BAG? the us supports israel because of poilitical and biblical. if you know your histroy you would know the full true and what's at stake. what makes you think that china and russian would kick americans butt? if russia would come in your lil neck of the woods,you would be asking america and it's politics to save your butts. DUSCHE BAG!
23:41 February 9, 2010 by laura ka baal
i really feel sorry for the swedish soldier who got killed, but tell me how can you win against those who are willing to die, no matter whatever they think but they are willing to die, why us marines, and the best of commandos in afghan are not willing to die ,now how can you win a battle against those who are willing to die, whole russia got dissolved, and now the country is soluble in water, same fate lies ahead with the rest, something must be done we all know we are fighting a lost battle.
01:11 February 10, 2010 by Coalbanks
Arrested? If you are in a war wouldn't the opposition troops, when caught, be detained indefinately as POW's? I do not understand why the Taliban are now treated as criminals for fighting for their country against the Western coalition when they were treated as freedom fighters for fighting against the Soviets when they invaded. What about Omar Khadr? He has spent years in Gitmo for alledegedly killing a US soldier at age 15 years when the US forces broke into his home to capture/kill Al Quida members including his father. Is he a criminal? A POW? A criminal, non-combatant terrorist - whatever thatr might be? Good luck to the soldiers of all sides who have to live with the trauma of this war , if they survive.
02:31 February 10, 2010 by someoneonthenet
Solders deserve some blame (not as much as people who started war), they might not have started the war but they are the ones who are fighting it (just saying they are doing their job is not good enough). This war has or never had anything to do with improving Afghani lives, it is just used as an excuse to justify or gain some support for this war.


you should support nuking Afghanistan. Rest assured no matter what you do, majority will never let their daughters (some would not even let their sons) go to school.
02:39 February 10, 2010 by nukeiran
Newyork-Växjö!!! Go back to where you came from (Damascus-Teheran) if life was soooo gooood under Muslim rule. Shut your stupid, dumb, terrorist supporting ass up!!! This is about the lives of 2 Swedish soldiers. Take your crap elsewhere!!! It's not our fault you like to fantasize about women in burkas!!! (up LOL yours ..!..)
03:22 February 10, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Howdi Alex Coman !

I'm afraid

that I'm about to break your fatwa but never mind there is freedom of speech in this democracy.

You sometimes sound a little like this:

03:25 February 10, 2010 by Davey-jo
We have here a story about the deaths in Afghanistan of Swedish soldiers. There have been many deaths from other NATO countries as well.

No Swede has been asked "Do you want to send your young men (it's always young men) to a foreign country to die in order to prevent an assault on your land by the poor people of Afghanistan. Such an assault is impossible to envisage. Then we have the idea that terrorists may be trained in Afghanistan and come and blow us up wherever we may be in Europe or elsewhere. This is simply beyond belief. (This is Gordon Brown's excuse for killing British soldiers in Afghanistan)

The purely undemocratic nature of all decisions to go to war has never been so obvious as with this entanglement of north European soldiers with Afghan warriors in their homeland. This is a war that NATO (ie. America) cannot win. In the end the troops must go home and that leaves the Afghans free to go back and do what they do best. This is sell heroin and cause mischief with the western powers.

I say get our young men out of there now and let the Afghans sort out their own civil war without NATO.

I disagree with GLO and Nemesis. I think our troops should be educated enough to say "no way am I going to be a tool of American imperialism; it's an illegal war that is doomed to be lost"

OK they are thick squaddies with no brains but that does not mean they get my support for their actions. Bear in mind that without soldiers there can be no war.
07:06 February 10, 2010 by rob582
Im afraid the time for pulling out and leaving Afghanistan and Iraq to their own devices has passed us by. Do you really think that if the west pulls their troops out that the region will miraculously stabilize itself? Not a chance of it, if we are not fighting the extremists on their own soil they will just bring the war to us. Personally I would not like to walk around stockholm in fear of suicide bombers!
07:37 February 10, 2010 by sleeplesssweden
As you kill,so shall you be killed...

As you bomb,so shall you be bombed

As they bleed,so shall you bleed

If its the culture for a country to practise sharia,let them be and do not impose your own culture on them.It did not work,it has never worked and it will never ever work.

The cowards sitting somewhere safe supporting the war should send thier own relatives or themselves to prove thier beliefs.

What goes around comes around.Americns trained teh afghans against the soviets and now the trainees have turned agaist thier trainers.LIVE WITH THAT LOSERS!!!
08:21 February 10, 2010 by sleeplesssweden
Read the history. There is always two sides to a book.Soldiers that love life fighting soldiers that love death can never win over the latter.Ironically as they said,if they were denied decent living for decades of years by the West,they surely can not deny them a decent death that involves taking as many of thier enemies with them

The sooner the West realizes that for every militant that dies in action,scores more rise up to take thier place,the better it will serve as a ground for negotiations with equality for both parties.Its a RIPPLE EFFECT...as they die,others multiply...Negotiations and only negotiations are needed to solve such conflicts
19:19 February 10, 2010 by mdl29907
Sleepless, in your first post you sound you might be a potential bomber yourself...lol..good luck with that;

Moreover, I really question your statement that every Al Queda operative or Taliban fighter that dies breeds more militants. Scores of Al Quada have been killed since the American invation and reading the open source information available suggests that there are only about 500 of the original thousands left in the NWFP in Pakistan. That said there has been the phenomena of either self-radicalization or other movements who have wrapped themselves in the Al Quada flag, that may be what you're alluding to; in any event historically self-immolating movements such as these usually take about 20 years to burn out so we may be at the half-way mark.

In addition, recent polling in Afganistan shows the majority of the population doesn't support the Taliban and even those who do are concentrated in the historically Pashtun provinces which are now the focus of the Nato forces. This support is based more on tribal loyalties than ideological agreement. If you look at the population in the North and West of the Country they have never supported the Taliban movement and if anything suffered significantly under their regime. Again, from open source information, it appears that since the focus of teh Americas has changed from Iraq to Afganistan progress has been made in arresting the Taliban movement and/or co-opting former less ideologically motivated Taliban. Finally, let's remember that the Americans gave the Taliban regime the opportunity to hand over Bin-Laden after the 9/11 attacks and they refused. The training you mention wasn't necessarily given to the Taliban but rather to War-Lords fighting the Soviets. In fact given the youth of the Taliban movement many of the lower & mid level leadership in 2001-2001 actually would have been to young to fight the Soviets.

You're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.
05:17 February 11, 2010 by wenddiver
Feel free to just kill them, don't take any risks arresting them on my account, I won't object.

Sorry about the two Swedish Officers and the Afgan interpeter.

I think it is the British Commonwealth cemetary at Impala (Soldiers who died fighting the Japs) that has the marker

"When you get back,

tell them what you have seen,

tell them that we gave our today for their tommorow."

Very applicable words for men who died in the service of Freedom in a war against terrorists.

I would advise everybody to live in such a way that your life honors their sacrafice for you and your country.
08:25 February 13, 2010 by johnnyrebel
You're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts...you are a funny guy mdl29907...not unlike a number of others in these posts.

As if you have some kind of monopoly with the Truth. The controversy that surrounds the events of 911 makes your siting the Talibans offer of BinLaden to the Americans rather shady. Although he was very quickly deemed responsible for the event by the sitting president GWB, it seems that he is no longer wanted for it by the FBI. One side of the story has it that the parties responsible offered to hand him over if proof could be provided of his connection.

These days it isnt so simple to get to the bottom of things...is it? And if one little fact gets overlooked or misconstrued it sort of changes the big picture. It was kind of you to entitle others to their opinions. Now if everyone can just get their facts straight we will be getting somewhere.
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