Five Czech soldiers wounded in Afghanistan attack — ministry

In this file photo, Czech Army equipment is seen while soldiers wait for a night patrol near Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield in Parwan on May 29, 2014. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Five Czech soldiers wounded in Afghanistan attack — ministry

  • The five soldiers were injured when a civilian vehicle loaded with explosives was blown up near an armored vehicle which then rolled over
  • Thirteen Czech soldiers have been killed in NATO missions in Afghanistan

PRAGUE: Five Czech soldiers have been injured in an attack in Afghanistan only two months after three others were killed, the Czech defense ministry said on Thursday.
“The attack on the Czech patrol occurred on Wednesday around 1220 GMT near the Bagram base in the Parwan province,” the ministry said in a statement.
The five soldiers were injured when a civilian vehicle loaded with explosives was blown up near an armored vehicle which then rolled over, it added.
One soldier with serious injuries underwent surgery and his life is no longer in danger.
Another with light injuries remained in hospital while the other three were released, the ministry said.
On August 5, three Czech soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing while on patrol in the eastern Parwan province alongside a US soldier and two Afghan soldiers, who were wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
It was the deadliest assault on NATO soldiers in many months.
The Lidove noviny broadsheet daily reported on Wednesday that Czech special forces had killed one of the August attackers and captured another, while Czech TV reported “far more” had been killed and captured.
Thirteen Czech soldiers have been killed in NATO missions in Afghanistan.


Swiss parliament backs expelling militants to states that use torture

Updated 19 March 2019
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Swiss parliament backs expelling militants to states that use torture

  • Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter told a debate in parliament that the government sympathized with proponents of the measure but its hands were tied
  • One of the convicted militants is a wheelchair-bound man found guilty in 2016 of planning terrorist attacks and helping Daesh operatives enter Switzerland

ZURICH: Switzerland’s parliament approved allowing convicted militants to be sent home to countries where they could face torture, leaving the government to decide how to implement the motion without breaking international law.
The Swiss constitution bans expelling people to countries where they might be subject to torture. But parlimament’s upper house on Tuesday narrowly adopted a motion allowing exceptions for foreign militants, as the Swiss lower house had done.
The motion stems from discontent among lawmakers over the ability of Iraqi militants convicted in Swiss courts of aiding Daesh to avoid being sent home because of the ban on exposing people to torture or other inhumane treatment.
Conservative critics say the ban has cost taxpayer money to care for convicted militants and angered citizens who say Switzerland should not have to host such people on its soil.
Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter told a debate in parliament that the government sympathized with proponents of the measure but its hands were tied.
“The security of the Swiss population has top priority but we also have to adhere to the limits of the rule of law.”
One of the convicted militants is a wheelchair-bound man found guilty in 2016 of planning terrorist attacks and helping Daesh operatives enter Switzerland. Freed from prison, he now lives in a transit center for asylum seekers and is fighting extradition.
Switzerland said this month it would not help bring home its own stranded citizens who had joined extremist forces in Syria and Iraq, insisting national security was paramount.
Switzerland is a signatory to the United Nations’ 1984 Convention against Torture, which bars expulsions of people to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
Iraq is also a party to the convention, but lacks laws or guidelines providing for judicial action when defendants allege torture or mistreatment, Human Rights Watch said in a report last year. It said torture was rampant in Iraq’s justice system.