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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 19:12 GMT
'UK friendly fire' killed troops
British troops in Afghanistan
UK forces have been involved in Afghan operations since 2001
Two Danish soldiers killed in Afghanistan died as a result of "friendly fire" from British troops, a Danish government investigation says.

Privates Mikkel Keil Sorensen and Thorbjorn Ole Reese died in the Upper Gereshk Valley on 26 September 2007.

The Danish report said they were killed when British strikes were aimed by "a tragic mistake" at a Danish compound.

The Ministry of Defence said it could not comment on what had happened until its own investigations were completed.

'Tragic mistake'

The two men were killed during operations against the Taleban while working as part of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

I know that this incident will not sway the resolve of the Danish soldiers
Brigadier Andrew Mackay

In its report into the incident, the Danish military said the deaths of the soldiers "happened as a result of strikes by British soldiers which by a tragic mistake were directed towards the compound where the Danish soldiers were in position".

Last month, a report by Denmark's TV2 channel said the British troops fired missiles over the heads of the Taleban hitting a small Danish compound more than a mile away on the other side of the Helmand river.

Responding to the Danish report, the commander of British forces in Helmand, Brigadier Andrew Mackay said: "I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Privates Mikkel Keil Sorensen and Thorbjorn Ole Reese at this difficult time.

"From my own personal experience of having the Danish Battlegroup now under my command here in Helmand I know that this incident will not sway the resolve of the Danish soldiers who continue to work alongside their British counterparts in Afghanistan.

"I know that they will continue to show the same bravery and dedication to their duties as they continue to play a vital role alongside us in the defeat of the Taleban within Helmand.

"I am, of course, concerned that we establish exactly what happened on 26 September.

"As the Danish report makes clear, the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident will be thoroughly investigated by the British Army and until that process is complete we will not be in a position to make further comment."


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