Command NCO Claudiu Constantin Vulpoiu was killed and Sub-Lieutenant Ionut Alin Marinescu, Command NCO Florin Ionel Murarescu and Corporals Third Class Marius Cristian Canuci, Marius Bogdan Radu and Eugen Valentin Patru sustained injuries in Afghanistan early on Sunday, in a suicide attack by an explosive-carrying vehicle that crashed head-on into the battle vehicle, the Romanian National Defence Ministry’s press office has announced. Command NCO Vulpoiu was 41, he had been a Defence Ministry staff since 2001, was married, with one child. He had participated in six other foreign missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the ministry, the Romanian troops with the Manoeuvre Battalion dispatched to Zabul province were on a patrolling mission, on three MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles, on A1 motorway linking Kabul to Kandahar, nearly 10 kilometers south-west of Mescall Forward Operating Base.
After the attack, the troops were given first aid assistance and were then flown by a medical evacuation helicopter to Kandahar hospital, the ministry said.
Romanian President Traian Basescu and National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa offered condolences to the family of the killed military. In President Basescu’s opinion, Command NCO Claudiu Constantin Vulpoiu “served his country with commitment and courage, aligning to the heroes that gave their lives serving under the national flag”. In his turn, Defence Minister Mircea Dusa said yesterday that Vulpoiu’s death reminds us that Afghanistan remains the most dangerous place in the world.
Around 1,000 Romanian troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan. Romania has been participating in the country’s reconstruction since 2002 and since then, 23 servicemen have been killed and 130 have been wounded in the operation theatre, the ministry said. The Romanian Army has so far lost 26 troops in the operation theatres in which it has participated, while more than 140 have been wounded. Around 40,000 Romanian military have been dispatched to various conflict areas since 1991, to take part in peacekeeping missions, the ministry stressed.