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March 4, 2021

Defence Ministry on Afghanistan tragedy: Attackers in Afghan security forces uniform, international investigation underway

The commander of the Romanian special operation forces’ detachment in Afghanistan on Sunday morning sent the first findings of the committee investigating the cause of death of the two Romanian troops and injure of another near Kandahar City.

According to the National Defence Ministry (MApN), the Romanian military were training the Afghan police staff in a base near Kandahar City, when the fire was open upon them by persons wearing the uniform of the Afghan security forces.

The Romanian military have acted by the book of the operations theatre: they fired back, killing their attackers and ensuring the premises.

“In the shootout that lasted 3 – 4 minutes three Romanian troops were injured. After receiving first aid, the injured were evacuated to the closest medical unit. Unfortunately, two of them didn’t make it. The third soldier, was evacuated today (Sunday – editor’s note) at 10:30, to a U. S. military hospital in Germany and his condition is stable,” the MAPN says.

The investigation is under way, together with the allied forces’ representatives.

“At the General Staff’s level measures were set to increase the security degree of our troops within the joint training missions and the repatriation with military honours of the military fallen in the line of duty,” the ministry reads in a release.

The two Romanian military who passed away, Sergeant first class Iulian Dumitrescu and Sergeant Adrian Vizireanu, were deadly shot on Saturday at 10:45 am near Kandahar city, during a mission for the training of Afghan police.


Officials convey their condolences to the bereaved families


The green-on-blue attack was the first attack of its kind in which Romanian soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan. The members of the Special Operations Forces are the best-trained Romanian soldiers. The two soldiers were taking part in the SOFs’ 18th mission in Afghanistan. They had left Romania three months ago. SOF training is the hardest in the Romanian army. The training takes place far from prying eyes and special operations soldiers take part only in well-planned forceful actions.

An international investigation has started at the highest level after the death of the two Romanian soldiers in Afghanistan. The NCOs were killed in a base near Kandahar by Taliban fighters wearing the uniforms of local defence forces. The attackers were killed but the question to be answered now is how they managed to enter the well-guarded base.

The leadership of the Ministry of National Defence convey on behalf of all staff the most compassionate condolences to the bereaved families and will attentively follow the developments in the condition of the wounded serviceman.

“It is with deep grief that I learned about the troops killed in the line of duty today, while performing a mission in Afghanistan. On behalf of myself and of all Romanian troops, I offer condolences to the bereaved families, their friends and brothers in arms. May God rest these brave soldiers and good Romanians,” is Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc’s message, as cited in a release.

“I received with distress the news that two Romanian soldiers died on duty today, in Afghanistan. Our soldiers served their country with devotion and courage and will forever remain in my memory and the memory of the Romanian people. In these moments of sadness, I convey my sincere condolences to the bereaved families. To the soldier injured in the same incident I wish quick recovery and may he return home safe and sound,” President Klaus Iohannis wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry also expressed, on Saturday, its profound regret for the death of the two soldiers.

“The Foreign Affairs Ministry conveys its sincere condolences and its whole compassion to the families of the persons deceased in this tragic event and wishes quick recovery to the Romanian soldier injured.”

The U.S. has conveyed, through Ambassador Hans Klemm, its condolences for the death of master sergeant Iulian Dumitrescu and sergeant Adrian Vizireanu.

“I was saddened to hear about the death of master sergeant Iulian Dumitrescu and sergeant Adrian Vizireanu, killed in an incident in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and about the wounding of another Romanian soldier.

Both personally, and on behalf of the United States of America, I want to convey condolences to the families and friends of master sergeant Dumitrescu and sergeant Vizireanu, as well as to their comrades in arms. Likewise, I want to wish rapid recovery to the injured soldier.

The bravery of Romanian soldiers taking part in the NATO mission in Afghanistan continues to demonstrate the profoundest commitment to the defence of freedom and democracy,” American Ambassador  Hans Klemm stated.

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