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Estonian troops in successful battle in Afghanistan


TALLINN, Jan 19, BNS - Estonian military personnel serving in southern Afghanistan carried out a successful combat operation in the past week, suffering no losses.

In the operation conducted in the area of Nawa to the south of Helmand's regional capital Lashkar Gah, the Estonian unit attacked Taliban positions assisted by indirect fire support and air support, making the enemy retreat, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.

"When we came into contact it could be seen that we're dealing with a highly motivated and disciplined enemy and that dealing with him will not be easy. Despite that the unit managed to suppress the enemy and make him retreat," Lt. Juri Pajuste, the Estonian commander in the battle, said.

Pajuste hailed his men's good training and high motivation as the reasons that made success possible.

The purpose of the operation was to ensure the region's security.

With indirect fire support from its own mortar unit and support from attack aircraft, the Estonian unit attacked enemy positions. As a result of the battle that lasted until sunset, the Estonian unit moved through Taliban positions and cleansed the areas formerly controlled by the enemy. The Estonians didn't suffer any losses.

The Estonian contingent in southern Afghanistan is deployed as part of the British led Helmand battle group. For the present Estonian contingent service in Afghanistan began in November.

Estonia has been taking part in the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan since 2003. There are about 150 Estonian personnel serving in Afghanistan right now.

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