Italian soldier killed in Afghan blast
Published Monday, June 25, 2012
An Italian soldier was killed on Monday and two others were wounded in an explosion at a police training camp in Adraskan in western Afghanistan, Italy's defense ministry said.
The explosion hit "an observation hut near a shooting range," the ministry said in a statement, without giving further details on what caused the blast.
Military spokesman Francesco Tirino in Herat told SKY TG24 television that the blast was caused by "a rocket launched from outside the camp."
Manuele Braj, 30, was killed instantly. Two other Italian soldiers were wounded to the legs but are out of danger. All three belonged to the Police Speciality Training Team (PSTT).
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti expressed his "deep and most sincere condolences" to "Braj's family."
Italy has 4,000 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force but plans to reduce deployment starting this year.
The government aims to withdraw completely from the country by the end of 2014, Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said last week.
A total 51 Italian soldiers have been killed in combat or died in accidents in Afghanistan, according to an AFP count.