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Latvian soldiers helped defend German consulate in Afghanistan

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| Defense

Air support controllers from Latvia helped to repel a Taliban attack on the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on November 10, reported LETA news agency Monday.

"The German colleague asked to give his sincere gratitude to our soldiers who defended the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif against the Taliban attack. I am proud!" tweeted Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

Latvia participates in the NATO-led training operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan with several dozen soldiers.

Kaspars Galkins, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, confirmed to LETA that three close air support controllers from Latvia were involved in repelling the attack on the consulate. None of the Latvians was hurt in the attack, the Defense Ministry's spokesman said, adding that this is a normal practice for allies to come to each other's assistance in such emergencies.

Taliban fighters blew up a truck bomb in front of the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif last Thursday night, killing six and wounding more than 120.

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said earlier that there were about 20 German staff at the consulate when it was attacked, but that they were safe and unharmed after the blast. He added that the German and Afghan security forces pressed back the heavily armed assailants.

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