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Croatian soldier dies in Afghanistan suicide attack

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BELGRADE (Reuters) – A Croatian soldier serving in Afghanistan died and two others were seriously injured in a suicide attack on their convoy outside Kabul on Wednesday, authorities said.

It was the first Croatian fatality in Afghanistan since the former Yugoslav republic and NATO member deployed troops there in 2003.

The soldiers were en route to Kabul airport when a motorcycle carrying a suicide bomber slammed into one of their vehicles, Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic told a news conference in Zagreb.

One of the soldiers, identified as Josip Briski, suffered serious head injuries in the blast and later died in the U.S.-operated military hospital at Bagram airfield, the defence ministry and presidency said in statements.

“The serviceman received the maximum medical assistance at the hospital in Bagram … but he died due to the severity of his injuries,” the ministry said.

Krsticevic said the other two servicemen, who received arm and leg injuries, were stable. “It was an isolated attack and all other members of the Croatian contingent are safe,” he added.

The three soldiers were part of Croatia’s 23-strong advisory team, which is under British command and is tasked with training Afghan police.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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