Sirens sounded and bells tolled across the Czech Republic at midday on Thursday in homage to the four Czech soldiers who were killed in a bomb attack near the Bagram airport in Afghanistan on Tuesday. A fifth Czech who was seriously injured has been operated on again in hospital and is said to be in a stable but serious condition. He will not be able to return home for at least 10 days.
The bodies of the four in coffins draped with the national flag were airlifted back to Prague’s Kbely military airport on Thursday afternoon. President Miloš Zeman, Defense Ministry officials and members of the soldiers’ special unit were present to pay their respects. Flags have been being flown at half mast and candles light. All four soldiers will be awarded medals for bravery in memoriam. President Zeman said the men’s actions in Afghanistan helped protect civilians from attack at home and that was the main significance of their sacrifice.
Parachutists from the brigade in Chrudim, eastern Bohemia, where three of the four dead soldiers were based will start a public collection. Money collected will be divided between the families of the bereaved.