One Albanian soldier killed, another wounded in Afghanistan   2012-02-21 13:23:06            

TIRANA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Albanian Defense Ministry said on Monday that two Albanian soldiers stationed in Afghanistan came under attack in the southern part of the country, with one killed, another seriously wounded.

The ministry initially said both soldiers were killed in the attack, but later clarified that one was dead, another one was left in coma.

The two soldiers, members of a contingent of 120 soldiers, were escorting U.S. intelligence personnel and USAID officials in the Kandahar area where they came under attack, the Defense Ministry said.

The death is the first casualty of Albanian soldiers abroad since Albania began sending troops to Afghanistan alongside its Western allies.

The group were patrolling and providing security for intelligence service personnel and a USAID group on its way to a meeting to open two schools and a health centre in the village of Robot 2 in Afghanistan's Kandahar area at 15:05 local time.

"Unexpectedly, fire was opened against them by men dressed in Afghan police uniform using five automatic weapons (Kalashnikovs) and a light machine gun," the ministry said in a statement.

During the fire exchange two Albanian soldiers from the Eagle 4 contingent and a soldier of an allied country were wounded, the ministry said.

One Albanian soldier died of his wounds in hospital while the other was left in a coma.

The commandoes have arrested the 11 Afghan policemen who opened fired against the Albanian group.

Since joining NATO in 2009, Albania has kept sending troops in Afghanistan to stand by its allies.

Special Report: Afghanistan Situation

Editor: Tang Danlu
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