ZAGREB, July 26 – A commemoration was held at the Defence Ministry on Friday for Josip Briski, a Croatian sergeant killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, with a minute’s silence and speeches by President and Armed Forces Supreme Commander Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic, and Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff General Mirko Sundov.
The president said Briski “chose the toughest path. He dedicated his life to serving Croatia, ready to defend the homeland anywhere… Every day of his service confirmed loyalty to the homeland, his human kindness. In Afghanistan, he offered people a trace of hope in a better future. A perfidious attack stopped him.”
Minister Krsticevic extended condolences to Briski’s family, adding that “such moments deeply affect the public too.” He said Briski had walked “the path of peace and freedom” and thanked him for “living and working by the ideals for which defenders fought in the Homeland War.”
General Sundov said news of Briski’s death “deeply shook both the army and the entire Croatian nation,” recalling that Croatia has been participating in peace missions for 16 years and that this was the first time it lost a soldier.
Briski’s body arrived at Zagreb’s airport aboard a NATO plane in the morning, where it was welcomed with the highest military and state honours. The plane left Bagram, Afghanistan during the night and was seen off by the commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, General Austin Scott Miller.
Briski was a member of the 10th Croatian contingent in Resolute Support. He died on Wednesday from serious injuries sustained during a suicide attack on a Croatian army vehicle in Kabul.