Croatian soldier killed, two wounded in Kabul attack
By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 24, 2019
KABUL, Afghanistan — A Croatian soldier supporting NATO’s mission in Afghanistan was killed Wednesday in an apparent suicide bomber attack near Kabul’s military airport, officials said.
The 27-year-old soldier, identified as Josip Briski, died following an attack on his vehicle, the Croatian Defense Ministry said. The two others in the vehicle were hospitalized in serious but stable condition, the ministry said, adding that the attacker had rammed into their armored vehicle with his motorcycle.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying a suicide bomber targeted a convoy of foreign forces.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi confirmed the bomber targeted a convoy heading to a military camp in Kabul.
Kabul police spokesman Farzad Faramarz told Stars and Stripes the attack happened less than a mile from the base at Kabul airport used by coalition and Afghan forces.
No civilians were injured by the blast, which was heard in the capital around 8:30 a.m, Faramarz said.
The NATO mission in Afghanistan confirmed a coalition vehicle was hit by “an explosive device” Wednesday morning, without providing further details.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that “we have never experienced such an attack with such consequences” since joining the international mission 16 years ago, The Associated Press reported.
Croatia contributes 106 soldiers to NATO’s Resolute Support mission, which focuses on training and advising Afghan forces, according to the latest Defense Department figures. Overall, the mission is supported by 17,000 foreign troops, half of which are American.
Reports in the Croatian media said Briski was a member of Croatia’s special operations who was advising and mentoring Afghan troops.
Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.