[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 9 January, 2005, 15:44 GMT
Iraq blast kills Ukrainian troops
Ukrainian troops in Iraq (October, 2004)
At least 13 Ukrainians have now died serving in Iraq
At least seven Ukrainian soldiers and one Kazakh have been killed while clearing munitions in Iraq.

The troops, part of the division under Polish command in south-central Iraq, were removing an aerial bomb for disposal. It exploded as they worked.

Up to nine soldiers of both Kazakh and Ukrainian origin were wounded in the blast, Polish media report.

The deaths bring to 13 the number of Ukrainians killed in Iraq, where some 1,650 have been deployed since 2003.

They form the fourth-largest contingent within the multinational forces, after the US, the UK and Poland.

Viktor Yushchenko, who recently won a re-run of Ukraine's presidential elections, has said he backs the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Iraq.

Kazakhstan, for its part, is reported to have some 27 military engineers serving in the military sector.

The Ukrainian defence ministry said that the aerial bomb had exploded as it was being loaded for disposal along with others.

The explosion happened at 1305 local time (1005 GMT) on Sunday, an unnamed ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific