A Croatian soldier died and two others were injured in a suicide attack on a military convoy early on Wednesday morning in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Defence Minister Damir Krstičević said the three injured soldiers had been transferred to the US military hospital at Bagram, where 27-year-old Josip Briški succumbed to his injuries.
Both Minister Krstičević and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković strongly condemned the isolated attack; while Minister Krstičević confirmed that the rest of the Croatian contingent was safe.
President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces, released the following statement and offered her condolences to the family of Josip Briški:
"I express my profound grief and sympathy to the family of slain corporal Josip Briški, who unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. At this difficult moment, I hope that Josip's family will find strength in solace. I sincerely believe that the other injured soldiers will recover successfully and that they will soon be in Croatia. As I witnessed myself during several visits to our contingents in Afghanistan, in this operation the Croatian Army has displayed a high level of preparedness. Being aware of the difficulty of their duties, Croatian soldiers are demonstrating a high degree of courage, morals, and faith in the success of the international mission they are participating in, because the Republic of Croatia is protecting itself far from its borders from present-day threats such as terrorism. At this moment, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our soldiers, especially the family of Josip Briški."
The attack happened at around 08:00 as the troops were driving towards the nearby camp when a small motor vehicle drove into one of the three armored vehicles in the convoy.
The Croatian military contingent does not conduct military operations and is stationed in Afghanistan as part of Resolute Support, a NATO-led mission which provides training, assistance, and advice to Afghan security units and institutions in conflict with extremist groups. Croatia has contributed around one-hundred soldiers to the mission which began in January 2015.
This is the first time Croatian troops were injured in an attack in Afghanistan since they were first deployed there sixteen years ago.
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