World News

Two Danish soldiers killed in Afghanistan

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Two Danish soldiers were killed while fighting Taliban insurgents in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the Danish Army Central Command said on Thursday.

The two soldiers were stationed in the Upper Gereshk Valley as part of efforts to combat the Taliban and were struck by small arms fire. The soldiers were evacuated by helicopter but were declared dead on arrival at a field hospital.

“It is with great regret that I have received the communication that two Danish soldiers from the Danish battalion in southern Afghanistan have fallen in the fight against the Taliban,” Poul Kiaerskou, head of Danish Army Central Command said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Britain opened an investigation into an incident two months ago in which two Danish soldiers may have been killed by British “friendly fire”. The Danish soldiers were killed on September 26 in Helmand, where both British and Danish troops operate.

Denmark has about 550 soldiers in Afghanistan.

Including Thursday’s casualties, six Danish soldiers have died in combat in Afghanistan. Three more were killed in 2002 in an explosion while trying to dismantle a mine.

Reporting by Kim McLaughlin; Editing by Janet Lawrence