Two German soldiers die in Afghanistan blast

27th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 June 2005, KABUL/BERLIN - A senior Afghan official, commenting on the deaths of two German soldiers in a weekend blast, said on Monday that "threats" had been issued to foreign troops in the weeks prior to the explosion.

27 June 2005

KABUL/BERLIN - A senior Afghan official, commenting on the deaths of two German soldiers in a weekend blast, said on Monday that "threats" had been issued to foreign troops in the weeks prior to the explosion.

Governor of Kunduz province Muhammad Omar told Deutsche Presse- Agentur that fliers had been distributed in the region 15 to 20 days ago calling on foreign troops to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Despite this Omar said he believed the explosion was accidental, rather than the result of an attack.

A probe has been launched into Saturday's explosion in the northern province of Takhar, in which the two soldiers as well as six Afghans were killed.

The blast happened at a munitions collection point close to an airfield in Rustaq, reportedly as the soldiers were loading munitions handed in by a local Afghan commander onto a truck.

An official NATO statement said the two soldiers killed were "part of a group of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) soldiers observing ammunition-sorting operations".

German Defence Minister Peter Struck said on Monday he was of the opinion that the blast was an accident. ISAF officials have however declined to rule out the possibility of an attack.

A team of German investigators flew to Afghanistan on Monday to determine the cause of the blast, while colleagues of the dead men were due to hold a memorial service Monday evening.

Afghanistan is among the most densely mined and booby-trapped countries in the world. As part of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, Germany has 2,000 troops, around 300 of them in Kunduz as part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

In March, three Danish soldiers and two German troops were killed in a mishap during the destruction of a rocket.

DPA

Subject: German news

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