No Injured Bulgarian Rangers in Afghanistan Rocket AttackDefense | July 30, 2013, Tuesday // 14:51| views
A total of 600 Bulgarian soldiers and medical staff are currently stationed in Afghanistan in Kabul and Kandahar. Photo by BGNES
The Kandahar airport where Bulgarian NATO contingent is stationed has been under rocket fire, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry announced Tuesday.
Rockets were launched Tuesday at 4:59 am local time.
None of the some three hundred Bulgarian rangers at the Kandahar Air Base have been wounded, according to the press release. There is no material damage either.
The worst incident with Bulgarian soldiers in Afghanistan to date occurred in January 2010, when four Bulgarians were wounded in a Taliban rocket attack, with one of them subsequently losing his hand. The incident coincided with the visit to the base of then Bulgarian Defense Minister, Nikolay Mladenov.
Bulgaria's military presence in Afghanistan initially consisted of 530 rangers.
In 2010, Bulgaria increased its Afghanistan contingent as part of the ISAF/NATO forces to 600 troops; half are stationed at the Kandahar airport.
The former government of the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, adopted in mid-January a long anticipated decision to terminate partly the Bulgarian military mission in Afghanistan.
The decision came in accordance with strategy for transformation of Bulgaria's participation in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, which was approved by the government at the end of 2011, following a decision by the USA under President Barack Obama's plan for a major withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014.
By the end of 2014 Bulgaria will continue to maintain its security company guarding the interior zone at the Kandahar Airport as well its teams of advisers to the local security forces.
After 2014, Bulgaria will continue its participation in NATO's mission in Afghanistan only with teams of advisers stationed on the ground with the Afghan security forces and the local authorities.