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Tomasz Krygiel

Poland Polish Army Chief Corporal, 12 Mechanized Brigade, 12 Mechanized Division 6/8/2004, As Suwayrah , Iraq

Within a few days in June, the Polish death toll in Iraq nearly doubled: two soldiers and two security guards-former commandos of the elite unit GROM-were killed. The only good news was that a Polish businessman was snatched from the hands of kidnappers.

Two Poles, Cpl. Tomasz Krygiel from the 12th Mechanized Brigade in Szczecin and Pfc. Andrzej Zielke of the 16th Repair Battalion in Elbląg, as well as three Slovaks and a Latvian, were killed June 8 when an explosion occurred during a mine disposal operation in an ammunition and explosive warehouse in Suwaira, south of Baghdad, in Wasit province, one of the three overseen by the multinational division commanded by the Poles.

General Piotr Czerwiński, head of a military commission investigating the accident on the scene, said that a probable cause behind the explosion was mortar fire from a distance of 2-3 km, from outside the area in which the soldiers operated. As a result of examinations, three craters were found in the ground left behind by exploding mortar shells. They show that the shells were aimed at the stored missiles which the soldiers were to dispose of.


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