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Cablegate: Latvian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

VZCZCXRO2398
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRA #0484 2261436
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131436Z AUG 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY RIGA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5159
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0028

UNCLAS RIGA 000484

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MOPS PREL AF LG
SUBJECT: LATVIAN SOLDIER KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

1. The Ministry of Defense announced that one Latvian soldier had
been killed, and three wounded, in Afghanistan on August 11. The
four servicemen's vehicle was hit by a mine or improvised explosive
in the town of Meimen while escorting journalists. 13 civilians
were also reported injured in the blast.

2. The battlefield casualty is Latvia's first related to coalition
efforts in Afghanistan, and the first combat death for Latvian
forces since December 2006, when two soldiers were killed in Iraq.
Both President Zatlers and PM Godmanis expressed their condolences
to the family of the fallen soldier.

3. Ambassador Larson called Speaker of the Saeima (Parliament)
Daudze, in his role as Acting President, to offer condolences.
Daudze said that while the loss is tragic, the GOL realizes that
their armed forces are in a combat zone and the government remains
committed to the mission in Afghanistan.


LARSON

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