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Spanish soldier killed in Afghanistan accident
thinkSPAIN , Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sergeant Juan Antonio Abril Sánchez (31), a married man from Zaragoza, died while on patrol in Qades yesterday lunchtime when the VAMTAC all-terrain vehicle (like the one shown below) in which he was travelling, overturned accidentally.

Two other soldiers - Juan Pablo Balarezo Delgado (23) from Quito in Ecuador and Jacobo del Cristo Pérez Salas (21) from Santa Cruz de Tenerife - were slightly injured while a fourth escaped unhurt.

The accident occurred at 12.40pm (local time) in the Qades district of Bagdhis province, around 25km north of the Spanish provincial construction team base (PRT) in Qala i Naw.

The four occupants of the vehicle were helicoptered to the Role 2 Hospital in Herat.

According to a Spanish Defence ministry spokesman, Sergeant Abril's remains will be flown back to Spain "as soon as possible."

This latest incident, which coincided with the fourth anniversary of the Yak-42 accident when 62 died in a plane crash in Turkey on their way back from Afghanistan to Spain, rises the total number of Spanish military personnel killed on overseas missions to 129 since 1989.

Including the 62 killed in the Yak-42 crash, a total of 89 of these fatalaties have occurred in Afghanistan: 17 others were killed in 2005 when the Cougar helicopter they were travelling in, crashed, two were killed in attacks by insurgents while one died of a heart attack.

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