Second Estonian soldier dies in Iraq attack

Another Estonian soldier has been killed in Iraq, according to the Estonian Ministry of Defense, becoming the third soldier from the small Baltic contingent to die in an attack by insurgents.

First Sgt. Arre Illenzeer, 28, was killed and five other Estonian soldiers were injured Oct. 25 when the vehicle in which they were riding drove over a bomb. Two of the injured are reported to be in serious condition, according to Baltic media.

Illenzeer is the second Estonian to die in Iraq. Junior Sgt. Andres Nuiamäe, 21, died Feb. 28. Latvian First Lt. Olafs Baumanis, 34, died June 8 in an attack on an ammunition depot.

Illenzeer, attached to the ESTPLA-9 light infantry unit, was part of a patrol in western Baghdad when the attack occurred.

Latvian Minister of Defense Atis Slakteris and Vice Adm. Gaidis Andrejs Zeibots, commander of the nation’s armed forces, expressed their condolences to Estonia over the death of the soldier. Latvia currently has 133 troops serving in Iraq, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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