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Italian soldier killed in Afghanistan blast

26 June, 2012

ROME/KANDAHAR: An Italian soldier was killed on Monday and two others were wounded in an explosion at a police training camp in Adraskan in western Afghanistan, Italy's Defence Ministry said.

"The explosion hit an observation hut near a shooting range," the ministry said in a statement, without giving further details on what caused the blast.

Military spokesman Francesco Tirino in Herat told SKY TG24 television that the blast was caused by "a rocket launched from outside the camp".

Manuele Braj, 30, who was married, with an eight-month-old baby, was killed instantly. Two other Italian soldiers were wounded to the legs but are out of danger. All three belonged to the Police Speciality Training Team (PSTT).

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti expressed his "deep and most sincere condolences" to "Braj's family and the troops engaged in an important training mission of the Afghan police".

Separately, six Afghan police officers were killed when a bomb tore through their vehicle in southern Afghanistan, an official said on Monday.

The roadside bomb hit a police patrol vehicle in Chora district of Uruzgan province late on Sunday, provincial spokesman Abdullah Hemat told AFP.

The Taliban, who frequently use roadside bombings to target Afghan and foreign military forces, claimed the responsibility for the deadly attack on their website.

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