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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » September 3, 2008
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Three Poles Killed in Afghanistan
September 3, 2008   
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The Polish military contingent in Afghanistan suffered further casualties Aug. 20 after a combat patrol vehicle drove onto a powerful explosive of unknown origin. Three Polish soldiers were killed and one was seriously wounded.

The explosion took place during a routine patrol 20 km from the Polish troops' Ghazni base. The remote-controlled bomb that blew up under the Humvee-type vehicle was later estimated to have had the power of about 100 kg of dynamite. Three crew members were killed and the fourth man, the gunner, was thrown from the vehicle by the blast. He was taken to a hospital where doctors managed to save his life following major surgery.

The casualties were Corporal Waldemar Sujdak and Privates First Class Paweł Szwed and Paweł Brodzikowski. Their home unit was the 2nd Mazovian Engineering Brigade in Kazuń, central Poland.

The soldiers were buried in their hometowns in Poland a few days later. The funeral of Brodzikowski in Nasielsk north of Warsaw was attended by Defense Minister Bogdan Klich, and Mass was celebrated by Polish Military Bishop Major-General Tadeusz Płoski. President Lech Kaczyński honored the killed men posthumously with the Knight's Cross of the Order of the Military Cross. The wounded soldier received the same decoration.

The attack on the Poles was one of many that NATO soldiers in Afghanistan suffered in recent weeks. The worst incident involved the death of 10 French soldiers when their unit was ambushed a few days before the attack on the Polish patrol.

Eight Polish soldiers have died in Afghanistan so far. The current group is the third round of the Polish contingent, which is due to grow from 1,200 to 1,600 soldiers in the late fall, to be deployed mainly in the province of Ghazni.
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