German soldiers wound five in Afghanistan

28th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

Deteriorating security proves hazardous for German troops and Afghanistan civilians.

Berlin -- German troops in Afghanistan opened fire on a vehicle that failed to stop at a checkpoint, wounding five of the occupants, the German Defence Ministry said Monday.

A spokesman said the incident occurred on Friday evening on a main road near the northern city of Kunduz.

When the driver continued to approach the checkpoint at high speed, the troops, serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), opened fire hitting the vehicle's engine, the spokesman said.

Five men were wounded, among them, two had suffered serious injuries that required immediate treatment at the German base in Mazar-i-Sharif.

The people in the minibus were civilians taking the body of a relative from Kabul to the northeast province of Badahkshan for burial, a local police official said. A search of the vehicle failed to recover any arms.

The incident happened a week after two German soldiers and five children were killed in a suicide attack near Kunduz.

In August, a German soldier accidentally shot dead an Afghan woman and two children at a checkpoint.

The security situation around Kunduz, where most of Germany's 3,500-strong ISAF contingent is based, has deteriorated in recent months.

This year more than 250 soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan, greatly exceeding those in the previous years since the international military operation was launched in 2001.

So far, some 30 Germans serving with ISAF have been killed.


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