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Dead soldier's father says German troops ill-prepared

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Dead soldier's father says German troops ill-prepared
The memorial service for the soldiers in Zweibrücken. Photo: DPA
15:21 CET+01:00
The father of a Bundeswehr soldier recently killed in Afghanistan has accused the German government and armed forces of sending troops into combat ill-prepared.

“The soldiers were sent to war with poor equipment,” said Michael Behlke in an interview to be published this week by magazine Super Illu. Much more needed to be done for the security of the soldiers, the 45-year-old from Biesenthal in the German state of Brandenburg said.

Behlke pointed out that his son and his comrades had purchased American bullet-proof vests, “because they're much better than the German ones.” His son had also purchased ear-protectors and glasses for protection, because they were not provided by the German military.

Behlke added that he had also spoken with Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung (CDU) about the “poor equipment” of the German soldiers. “He only said that everything possible was done for the soldiers,” said Behlke, dismissing Jung's comments as just an empty phrase that none of his son's comrades actually believed.

Behlke's son, a 25-year-old sergeant, and his 22-year-old comrade were killed last Monday in a suicide attack near Kunduz. Five Afghan children also died in a suicide attack. The two soldiers belonged to the Bundeswehr's 263rd Paratrooper Battalion from Zweibrücken, where 700 guests attended a memorial service on Friday for the two dead soldiers.

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