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Defense Minister: Circumstances of attack against Lithuanian soldiers in Afghanistan still unclear

Juozo Oleko vizitas Afganistane
A.Galdikaitės (KAM), I.Sejonienės (PAG-16) ir A.Tamošiūno (OPMG-5) nuotr. / Juozas Olekas in Afghanistan
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuania's Defense Minister Juozas Olekas says that some uncertainty remains in the circumstances of injury of two Lithuanian soldiers by a soldier of Afghanistan's National Army earlier this month.

"The situation is that the shot was fired by a soldier serving in Afghanistan's National Army. We will probably find out sooner or later whether it was a fighter well infiltrated in the Afghan National Army or other reasons," the minister currently on a visit in Afghanistan said in a telephone interview to BNS on Sunday.

The two Lithuanian soldiers were injured on April 7 by a grenade fired by a soldier of the Afghan National Army. The Afghani was detained.

Lithuania intends to withdraw its troops from Ghor Province in Afghanistanlater this year.

"Our preparations to hand over all responsibilities and leave Ghor are going according to the plan," Olekas said.

After Lithuania withdraws from Ghor, Lithuania's special operators will remain in southern Afghanistan along with instructors teaching Afghan pilots, a few officers may also stay in other locations. The international coalition plans to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

"I believe that the Afghans are indeed capable of ensuring security, and we'll have to wait and see how this works out," the minister said.

Lithuania has been heading a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Ghor since 2005.

BNS
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