Prague - The Czech soldier who was severely wounded in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan last Tuesday died in Prague's Central Military Hospital (UVN) today, becoming its fifth Czech victim, the Defence Ministry told CTK.
Český voják zraněný 8. července v Afghánistánu je od večera 13. července zpět v Česku. Do vlasti ho přepravil vojenský speciál, v Praze-Kbelích přistál v 18:30. Voják byl následně vrtulníkem přepraven do Ústřední vojenské nemocnice. Nadále je ve velmi vážném stavu. ČTK Generální štáb AČR
Military health care service chief Bozetech Jurenka told reporters that the soldier had been transported from Afghanistan to the Czech Republic despite a high risk since a Czech hospital could give him a better care, including possible organ replacement.
"It could not be done more for him in Afghanistan," chief-of-staff Petr Pavel added.
The soldier was transported home in a very serious condition on Sunday.
Before, he underwent several surgeries in the U.S. field hospital in Afghanistan.
The soldier had a severe multiple trauma and his transport to the Czech Republic was coordinated with U.S. doctors, Jurenka said.
The fifth victim is sergeant major Jaroslav Lieskovan.
"He was a good soul of the unit," Pavel said, calling his death a great loss.
"Sergeant major J.L. (1975), who was seriously wounded in a suicide bomber's attack while patrolling near the Bagram air base in the [northern] Parwan province on Tuesday, July 8, succumbed to his injuries in the Central Military Hospital in Prague in the morning hours today," the ministry said.
It said the soldier's family has been informed about his death.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (senior ruling Social Democrats, CSSD) offered his condolences to the families of the killed soldiers. He also thanked the U.S. and Czech physicians for their care.
"At the same time, I want to thank all Czech soldiers in foreign missions, including those in Afghanistan, for their engagement and professional approach with which they are fulfilling Czech allied commitments," Sobotka added.
The Czech military patrol, part of the ISAF mission, was checking a site near the Bagram base from where hostile rockets might have been launched. The soldiers spoke to the local inhabitants. Appearing in the crowd, the attacker blew himself up.
Apart from the soldier who died today, the attack killed sergeant Ivo Klusak, corporals Libor Ligac and Jan Senkyr and sergeant major David Benes, and also two Afghan police and several civilians.
The four Czech soldiers who died on the spot were transported back to the Czech Republic on Thursday. They will be buried with military honours on July 17, 18 and 21, the military said earlier today.
At Sunday night, a Czech military patrol in Afghanistan faced another attack, from firearms and anti-tank grenades this time. A soldier in a vehicle's gun turret suffered moderate injuries. He is reportedly out of life danger.