Skip to comments.Salvador condemns attack on its troops in Iraq
Posted on 04/04/2004 3:54:17 PM PDT by areafiftyone
SAN SALVADOR, April 4 (Reuters) - El Salvador Defense Minister Juan Martinez on Sunday condemned what he called an "unjustified" attack on Salvadoran troops in Iraq which he said left one soldier dead and 12 wounded..
The violence in Kufa, near Najaf, began after protesting militiamen marched on a Spanish-run military base to denounce the arrest of an aide to a radical Shi'ite cleric and the closure by U.S. officials of a militant Baghdad newspaper.
"Personnel of the Cuscatlan Battalion were unjustly attacked by armed groups attempting to enter the encampment," Martinez told a press conference.
Martinez identified the dead Salvadoran soldier as Natividad Mendez, born in the western province of Ahuachapan. He said three other Salvadoran soldiers were injured on Friday while on patrol in Kufa.
Salvadoran President Francisco Flores expressed regret over the attack, saying his country's troops are in Iraq on a humanitarian mission.
"Our soldiers responded in legitimate defense," Flores said in a statement. "Without a doubt these violent and irrational actions like this attack demonstrate the need for the international community to be present during the process of reconstruction" of Iraq.
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