Hradec Kralove - Hundreds of people today attended the funeral of sergeant major Jaroslav Lieskovan, 35, last of the five Czech soldiers killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan on July 8.
V Hradci Králové se lidé 22. července rozloučili s rotmistrem Jaroslavem Lieskovanem, který zemřel 14. července na následky těžkých zranění při útoku sebevražedného atentátníka v Afghánistánu. Před smuteční obřadní síní čestná jednotka vypálila na počest mrtvého kolegy tři salvy. ČTK Taneček David
The veteran of eight foreign missions, including four in Afghanistan, died on July 14 after he was transported to the Czech Republic, succumbing to multiple severe injuries he suffered in the blast.
Three of the killed soldiers were buried last week and the fourth funeral took place on Monday.
Lieskovan was promoted and decorated with the cross of state defence in memoriam during the ceremony, which was accompanied by military honours.
A Mi24 combat helicopter circled over the venue three times at a low altitude at the beginning of the ceremony. At the end, an honorary volley was fired and the national anthem played. As the family wished, the media were not allowed to attend the funeral.
Lieskovan joined the 43rd parachute battalion in Chrudim, east Bohemia, in 1995 and he served there ever since. Two years ago he became deputy commander of the arms platoon of the 2nd parachute company.
The suicide bomber´s attack killed four Czech servicemen: Jan Senkyr, Libor Ligac, David Benes and Ivo Klusak, and injured Lieskovan, who died later after he was flown home. Two Afghani police officers and several civilians also died in the blast.
There are roughly 300 Czech soldiers in Afghanistan now. Along with doctors and members of a patrol company, there are also members of logistics units, meteorologists and the troops training Afghan helicopter pilots.
The second patrol company that is in charge of the protection of the Bagram air base is the biggest. Its members patrol the area where they try to avert militants' missile attacks on the base, gaining information from the locals.