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First two Albanian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

(Xinhua)

09:18, February 21, 2012

TIRANA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Two Albanian soldiers stationed in Afghanistan were shot and killed while on duty in the southern part of the country, the Albanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Their deaths are the first casualties of Albanian soldiers abroad since the country began sending troops for peacekeeping missions alongside its Western allies.

The two soldiers, part of a contingent of 120 Albanian soldiers in Afghanistan, were escorting U.S. intelligence personnel and USAID officials in the Kandahar area when they were shot, the Defense Ministry said.

"Captain Feti Vogli, the commander of the first special group and deputy corporal Aleksander Peci, a weapons specialist, suffered serious wounds and passed away in the Rol 3 hospital in Kandahar," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

They were shot by men dressed in Afghan police uniform using five automatic weapons and a light machine gun, it said.

"During the fire exchange a soldier of an allied country and two (Albanian) soldiers from the Eagle 4 contingent were wounded," the Defense Ministry said.

The soldiers have arrested the 11 Afghans who opened fired at the Albanian group.

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