A Spanish soldier was shot dead Sunday in Afghanistan after suspected insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire, Spain's defence ministry said.
Staff Sergeant Joaquin Moya Espejo, a 35-year-old father of a young boy, was struck by a bullet in the chest while on a patrol with Afghan forces northeast of Ludina in northwestern Badghis province, it said in a statement.
Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacon will travel to Afghanistan to obtain more information regarding the soldier's death and repatriate his remains.
His death brought to 97 the number of Spanish troops killed since they began their mission in Afghanistan in January 2002, the defence ministry said.
The majority, 79, died in two separate air accidents, while 14 died in attacks by insurgents. Two died in car accidents and another two died of natural causes.
Spain plans to withdraw all of its 1,500 troops serving in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan by 2014.
The Spanish troops are training Afghan army personnel.
(c) 2011 AFP
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