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Four soldiers killed in Afghanistan attack

AFP/DPA/The Local · 15 Apr 2010, 17:58

Published: 15 Apr 2010 15:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Apr 2010 17:58 GMT+02:00

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According to officials in Berlin, a patrol between Kunduz and Baghlan came under attack around 2:30 pm local time. Anti-tank missiles or rocket-propelled grenades reportedly struck an armoured Eagle IV vehicle near a bridge in the area, which is a known Taliban stronghold.

Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was informed of the attack just after landing in Uzbekistan following a two-day Afghan visit. He said he was "deeply saddened" by the news and that he and military chief of staff Volker Wieker would return to the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif "to be with our soldiers."

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he condemned the "treacherous attack" in the strongest terms.

"It strikes the fallen soldiers, it strikes us, it strikes all Germans," he said in a statement. "It also strikes the great majority of the Afghan people, who detest this terror as much as we do."

The attack came just a few weeks after three other Bundeswehr troops died in an attack on Good Friday.

The Bundeswehr paratroopers – aged 25, 28 and 35 – were shot during a fierce battle against insurgents in the Chahar Dara district southwest of the city of Kunduz. Eight other soldiers were injured in the fight, four of them seriously.

The recent bloodshed in the country has renewed debate over military policy in Afghanistan and whether the Bundeswehr is being properly outfitted and trained for the NATO mission. It has also prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to break a long-standing taboo and call the conflict a “war.”

Germany has participated in the conflict in the Kunduz regions since 2002 as a member of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). There are currently more than 4,500 troops serving in the mission. The bloodshed this month has brought the number of German soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 43.

Story continues below…

During his tour of Afghanistan Guttenberg had announced a speedy upgrade to Bundeswehr weaponry in response to escalating violence in the region – saying Germany had fast-tracked an order for 60 new Swiss-made Eagle IV armoured vehicles – the same vehicle involved in Thursday’s deadly attack.

Soldiers had reportedly claimed before the Good Friday ambush that they were short on armoured vehicles – and the latest attack is certain to add to the growing sense of urgency at the Defence Ministry for new hardware for Berlin's troops.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:50 April 15, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I want to find something to say that expresses how I feel when I read these sad stories, but I can't find the vocabulary for it.

I just hope this doesn't start another round of political infighting. These were Germany's soldiers, and they swore an oath for the benefit of us all. No matter our politics, I hope we remember that, and when they come home in caskets, that we receive our dead with dignity and prayer.
16:53 April 15, 2010 by the general
RIP lads you done your bit enjoy some peace now.
17:05 April 15, 2010 by Henckel
Yes, I too feel for these men and their families. Military service is a noble task. Although my family emigrated to the USA in 1879, it has always been a point of pride in my family that my great-great-grandfather served in the Prussian army in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, which resulted in German unification. When President Grant visited Berlin in 1878, he and Otto von Bismarck compared and contrasted Germany's wars of unification in 1864, 1866 and 1870-71 with the American Civil War. Although there were many obvious differences, they could see much common ground which men in both instances thought worth fighting for.
17:34 April 15, 2010 by twisted
As a Vietnam vet, I honor all uniformed soldiers who die or are wounded in the service of their country (note the word uniformed). Regardless of the war, soldiers do their duty and they should always receive respect, not something my generation received in the 1960s when we came home after our tour in the war zone. SALUTE !!!
18:08 April 15, 2010 by AirForceGuy
You have said it perfectly, 'twisted'. (I was 'there' with you... in the 60's and 70's)
18:54 April 15, 2010 by wenddiver
God Bless their Efforts on behalf of Free Men and Women everywhere.

Somebody needs to get these men some gun tubs and splash shields for that top position on the vehiclen (Helmets gang, there are too many pictures in the Local of Paratroopers without protective gear on). If there is a Mechanized Unit nearby they could fabricate the splash shields fairly easily in their shops.

God bless all the Americans, Brits, Germans, Poles, Ukranians, Latvians, Gurkas, Pakistanis, Afgans, Swedes, etc., etc. fighting this vile threat to the Freedoom of mankind. Give them whatever they need and always respect them.

You guys still need to set up a method of sending them stuff from the people back home and taking care of their families.
20:09 April 15, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I can't confirm it yet, but based on their positoning, these troops are probably from FmBtl 610 Prenzlau. This is a communications battalion part of the Multinational Corps North-East. They are in the Multinational Corps with the 13th Panzergrenadier Division.

FmBtl 610 most likely does not have any heavy force composition, but the 13th Pzg should have at least two mixed brigades, and thereby at least two battalions of Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

I don't see any organic artillery units with the 13th, but I imagine the rest of the multinational corps might have some. In any case, they should have more than enough firepower to competently respond to this outrage.
22:42 April 15, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I agree, must do all what we can to support all NATO troups while they are there, regardless of political views.

I would however like to say that NATO military leaders should consider a much more efficient and effect way of confronting insurgents. It seems as though we are losing too many soldiers for what we are trying to accomplish.

How about more drones and less soldiers? The pilotless aircraft appear to be the most effective weapon NATO uses.
00:17 April 16, 2010 by wxman
On the wrong side or on the right side, the German troops have always been the best throughout history. May God bless you gentlemen, OOOHAH!
04:18 April 16, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
@Logic Guy

Pilotless drones raining death from 10,000 feet can't walk up to a kid, mess with his hair, give him chocolate, and tell him that he can have a better future. They also can't mediate tribal disputes in a neutral way, or a million other things.
07:49 April 16, 2010 by blogboy
I agree with Der Grandier aus Aachen, boots on the ground is the only way that wins, whether it is helping them with there future or fighting. Aircraft is a good tool for changing the tride of the battle but the infantry holds the ground.
12:41 April 16, 2010 by Frenemy

oooah! (+) (and then some)

...we got ya, brother!
12:43 April 17, 2010 by IH8zionists
well it teaches the soldiers a lesson to not invade a country that didnt have anything to do with "world terrorism". every action has a consequence and unofortunately these German soldiers paid with their lives for the investment of the richer getting rich off us tax payers around the globe. All invaders deserve what they get.
20:24 April 17, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
You know, you're really doing us a big favor. Some of us are in genuine danger of taking your opinions seriously, as one of a thoughtful, average man who is concerned about the world.

But you let an opinion about yourself be formed so much more quickly and efficiently by just using that username. It's very good of you; it saves me the trouble of logically coming to the conclusion that you are a moron, and just lets me jump straight to the labeling part. Thanks :)
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