Corporal Besik Niniashvili from the 31st light infantry battalion of the third brigade deployed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan was killed “as a result of mine explosion”, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said on December 31.
The latest death brings to eleven the total number of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, since joining the NATO-led operation in November, 2009. The Georgian troops in Afghanistan operate without caveats.
In a period of his service in the army Corporal Niniashvili, who joined the Georgian Armed Forces in 2007, was awarded with the Medal for Outstanding Combat Service, Honorary Certificate, Medal for Combat Wound and Medal for Participation in International Operations, MoD said.
MoD did not provide other details of circumstances in which Corporal Niniashvili was killed.
On December 20 the Parliament approved President Saakashvili’s request to send one additional infantry battalion to Afghanistan on top of 936 Georgian soldiers who already serve as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
As a result, after sending one more battalion – that is 749 soldiers – Georgia will become the largest non-NATO contributor to ASAF with total of 1,685 troops.