Photo: Sergeant Fernandez Ureña
A Spanish soldier died Friday in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.
The Spanish government’s No. 2 and spokeswoman said in a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting that army Sgt. David Fernandez Ureña, 35, had been killed.
In her remarks, Saenz de Santamaria paid tribute to members of the Spanish army and armed forces for their work “in the service of peace and stability worldwide.”
The soldier was killed while carrying out reconnaissance work between the towns of Qala i Naw and Darra i Bun, Spain’s Defense Ministry said.
The explosion, whose cause is under investigation, occurred when his reconnaissance team was inspecting a stretch of terrain where an explosive device had been located.
Fernandez Ureña, the first fatality among Spanish troops in Afghanistan this year, was awarded the NATO-ISAF medal for his service in the South Asian country in 2009.
Spain’s military has been part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for more than a decade and currently has some 1,400 people serving with ISAF.
A total of 100 Spanish military personnel - some of Latin American origin - have now been killed since the mission in Afghanistan started, most in air accidents.
Most of the Spanish soldiers deployed there are currently stationed in the northwestern province of Badghis.