Albanian Soldier Killed, 2 Injured in Accidental Explosion at Latvia’s NATO base

An Albanian Armed Forces soldier lost her life and two others were injured by accidental ordnance explosion during combat training operations at NATO’s Ādaži Military Base in Latvia.

The incident occurred at 10.10 am local time on May 6. The deceased was identified as Corporal Zarife Hasanaj while the injured were identified as Major Klodian Tanushi, the Commander of the Albanian contingent at the base, and Sergeant Julian Kapaj.

Albanian Defence Minister Olta Xhaçka expressed her pain for the loss of Corporal Hasanaj and condolences to her family. The minister also wished quick recovery for the two wounded soldiers.

“Great pain for the loss of the Armed Forces martyr, Corporal Zarife Hasanaj. At this difficult moment we are close to our daughter’s family and we will continue to be close to them, to face the great loss together. Respect and gratitude to Zarife for the sacrifice, courage, and determination to face the risk during the fulfillment of her duties. I wish our injured sons, Major Klodian Tanushi and Sergeant Julian Kapaj, a quick recovery and a safe return to our Armed Forces family,” – wrote Minister Xhaçka.

“On behalf of the Armed Forces, I express the most heartfelt condolences to the family of Corporal Hasanaj, who lost her life while on duty and wish Major Klodian Tanushi and Sergeant Julian Kapaj quick recovery”, said Brigadier General Bardhyl Kollçaku, the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces.

“At the same time, on behalf of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, I assure all the family members of our effectives in Latvia that we are paying very close attention to the event that has taken place.”

The Albanian contingent serving in the NATO’s Battalion-Size Battle Group in Latvia has the task of disposing ammunition and explosive ordnance (called Explosive Ordnance Disposal or EOD). The deployment is under NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EPF) initiatives.

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