Mother of soldier killed in Afghanistan tries to sue government

The mother of a German soldier killed while on duty in Afghanistan is trying to sue the government over his death, accusing the army of having sent his unit into danger without sufficient equipment or backup.

Mother of soldier killed in Afghanistan tries to sue government
Chancellor Angela Merkel at Nils Bruns funeral. Photo: DPA

Karola Rosendahl, 53, has presented a five-page legal complaint to the state prosecutor in Potsdam, hoping to persuade officials to take up her case and investigate against the Defence Ministry, Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

Her son Nils Bruns was the 38th German soldier to be killed in Afghanistan when his unit was sent to help mine-clearing comrades who had came under attack near Kunduz in April. He was fatally wounded when an explosive buried in the road was detonated, probably by remote control.

Rosendahl has spent months researching the details of what happened during the attack, and claims in her complaint, that the soldiers should not have been sent on that mission, and were not properly equipped.

She says her son’s unit was not supported by helicopters, even though it had been specifically sent on the mission to help other soldiers who were under attack. And she wants questions to be answered including, why the fight continued so long, why were further reinforcements not sent, and why soldiers were using guns which got so hot when fired repeatedly that they stopped working?

“After thorough consideration and extensive research [she is] convinced that the death of her son under those circumstances could have and should have been prevented,” says her letter to the prosecutors.

It continues, “The unit of first sergeant Nils Bruns was left to come to a miserable end amid known failure of military aid.”

Der Spiegel reported that the Defence Ministry knew of Rosendahl’s complaint, but would not comment on it. The Potsdam prosecutor has sent her case to prosecutors in Berlin and Oldenburg, but the magazine suggested the chances of it leading to a trial were slim.