Germans beef up diplomat security in Baghdad

23rd June 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 June 2004 , MUNICH - Germany has flown an armoured personnel carrier into Baghdad for the protection of its diplomats when they move about the bomb-scarred city, according to a Munich newspaper. A heavy Ilyushin air freighter was chartered to fly the wheeled vehicle from Cologne to Baghdad last Friday, the Muenchner Merkur newspaper reported Wednesday. It said six members of Germany's crack border police regiment, GSG 9, were also on board. Both the Bonn command of the border police and the federal inte

23 June 2004

MUNICH - Germany has flown an armoured personnel carrier into Baghdad for the protection of its diplomats when they move about the bomb-scarred city, according to a Munich newspaper.

A heavy Ilyushin air freighter was chartered to fly the wheeled vehicle from Cologne to Baghdad last Friday, the Muenchner Merkur newspaper reported Wednesday. It said six members of Germany's crack border police regiment, GSG 9, were also on board.

Both the Bonn command of the border police and the federal interior ministry, which is in charge of the force, declined comment when asked to confirm or deny the Merkur story.

At the Foreign Office, a spokeswoman said that as a matter of principle no information would be made available about safety precautions for the German diplomatic mission in Baghdad.

Two of the border guards were killed while travelling by road from Amman to Baghdad in April, reportedly when their convoy tried to run a rebel roadblock near Falluja. The guards were sent to protect the German mission.

The government said it thought at the time that the land route, which was much cheaper than going by air, was reasonably safe.

Border police in Germany are equipped with light armoured vehicles for crowd control duties. They offer protection against rifle fire but may not be proof against the rocket-propelled grenades that have been used in strikes on Coalition troops.

The news report did not specify what type of vehicle was sent to the embassy. Germany has no troops in Iraq. It vocally opposed the US invasion, predicting it would destabilize Iraq and incite anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.

 

DPA

Subject: German news

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