Danish troops killed in Afghanistan by UK friendly fire says Danish MoD

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A report by Denmark's Ministry of Defence has concluded that two Danish soldiers were killed in a friendly fire incident by British missiles, in Afghanistan. The British Ministry of Defence has yet to conclude its own investigation.

Location of the Helmand Province within Afghanistan.

The incident, which occurred on September 26, 2007, took place near Gereshk in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. According to the report, British infantry mis-identified a Danish position along the Helmand River as one belonging to the Taliban.

While at their base, identified as "Golf Bravo 8-1" and described as an observation post, the Danish troops came under fire at 21:28 local time (UTC+4:30) lasting until 22:23. Privates Thorbjørn O. Reese and Mikkel Keil Sørensen were killed.

Upon reaching the site, Danish investigators found remnants of three Javelin missiles, which are used by British infantry. An autopsy concluded that fragments found in the bodies originated from these missiles.

The Danish troops, who were under British command as part of International Security Assistance Force, were asked for permission by the British to fire upon Taliban within their operational area. As they were within their compound at the time, the Danes granted the permission, not realizing that is was their compound itself that had been identified as a Taliban position.

Cquote1.svg I know that this incident will not sway the resolve of the Danish soldiers who continue to work alongside their British counterparts in Afghanistan Cquote2.svg

—Brigadier Andrew Mackay

Although, the British government is not officially commenting until its own investigation has concluded, Brigadier Andrew Mackay, commander of British forces in Helmand, said "I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Privates Thorbjørn O. Reese and Mikkel Keil Sørensen at this difficult time."

"From my own personal experience of having the Danish Battlegroup now under my command here in Helmand I know that this incident will not sway the resolve of the Danish soldiers who continue to work alongside their British counterparts in Afghanistan," he continued. "I know that they will continue to show the same bravery and dedication to their duties as they continue to play a vital role alongside us in the defeat of the Taliban within Helmand."


Sources

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