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Troops in Afghanistan limit movements to avoid attacks

Bodies of two soldiers killed at weekend arrive in Spain

Spanish troops stationed in Afghanistan have limited their movements to only those most essential to their mission, according to Defense Ministry sources. This order originally came after the death of Osama bin Laden, in early May, but has been reinforced after a Taliban attack at the weekend left two Spanish soldiers dead and a further three wounded when their armored vehicle drove over an explosive device.

Defense Minister Carme Chacón visited Herat, Afghanistan on Monday, where ceremonies were held to honor the two dead soldiers, Sergeant Manuel Argudín Perrino and Private Niyireth Pineda Martín. An Airbus 310 brought their bodies to the Gando airbase in Gran Canaria on Monday. Their funerals will be held on Tuesday in Las Palmas, and will be attended by Prince Felipe.

The government announced last week that it would be scaling back its 1,500-strong presence in Afghanistan from the first half of next year, with all Spanish troops brought home by 2014.

Fifteen Spanish soldiers have died in attacks in Afghanistan, while 81 more have been killed in accidents there.