Danish minister makes surprise trip to Afghanistan | india | Hindustan Times
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Danish minister makes surprise trip to Afghanistan

india Updated: Sep 06, 2006 17:03 IST

Danish Defence Minister Soeren Gade visited Denmark's 290-strong contingent in southern Afghanistan this week, his office said on Wednesday.

Gade was in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province Monday and Tuesday to meet the Danish troops.

Since they were deployed on July 26, the contingent repeatedly has been attacked by suspected Taliban militants. Eight Danes have been wounded.

"I got a good firsthand impression from the operation area and the soldiers' work," Gade said in a statement.

"I am deeply impressed by the professional work the soldiers carry out under very difficult conditions."

During his trip, which was not announced in advance for security reasons, Gade also met with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who was visiting Afghanistan.

Three Danish troops were killed in Kabul in 2002 when defusing Soviet-made SA-3 anti-aircraft missiles near the airport in Kabul.

Two German soldiers on the explosive expert team also were killed. A later military report said the team had disregarded safety measures during the procedure.