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AFGHANISTAN

No charges over Swedish Afghanistan deaths

No Swedish soldiers will face charges over the shootings of two Swedish officers and an interpreter in Afghanistan in February.

Chief Prosecutor Krister Petersson at the Swedish International Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday that he was ending his investigation into the shootings. He said it had been hard to determine which guns had fired the bullets that killed the men.

“The Swedish soldiers were hit by several kinds of ammunition, but we cannot say with certainty which calibre they had or which gun they were fired from,” Petersson said.

The Swedish Armed Forces’ said that parts of a Swedish bullet were found in the bullet-proof vest of one of the Swedish officers.

The prosecutor wrote in his decision that the “chain of events appears to have been very rapid and was life-threatening to all the soldiers at the scene. Those involved did not have time to weigh up or consider their decisions for a long period.”

Petersson said that there was no indication that any of the soldiers had broken any safety procedures or orders, nor had they been negligent. He added that the inquiry had not been able to establish with a sufficient degree of certainty that the deaths had been caused by Swedish bullets.

Colonel Christer Tistam, commanding officer of the Swedish FS18 Afghanistan force at the time of the incident, appeared together with Petersson at a press conference in Stockholm on Monday.

“The soldiers who were in action at the scene have probably prevented the deaths of other Swedes,” he said.

Tistam welcomed “that Swedish authorities have now investigated the incident as far as possible and that the soldiers involved have been given an acknowledgement that they saved several lives.”

The armed forces now plan to analyze the prosecutor’s investigation. An internal military investigation is expected to be completed by the early autumn.

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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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