Albanian soldier killed, 2 injured at Latvia's NATO base

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian soldier has been killed at a military base in Latvia during training exercises for a NATO mission in eastern Europe, the country's military said Monday.

Army chief of staff Gen. Bardhyl Kollcaku said 32-year-old Cpl. Zarife Hasanaj died Monday of injuries "from the explosion of some unexploded ammunition" at the Adazi base, which became NATO's northern Europe headquarters this year.

An Albanian major and a sergeant were injured during the explosion.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics expressed condolences and said the presence of NATO troops "is very important to Latvia, as it helps strengthen (the) collective defense in the Baltic States and Poland.

Albania has had small explosives disposal units on six-month rotations at Adazi since 2017.

Albania joined NATO in 2009. It contributes 214 military personnel to NATO and international peacekeeping missions in Latvia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Aegean Sea, Mali and South Sudan.