(Civil.Ge) — Corporal Shalva Pailodze from the 31st infantry battalion of the third brigade, deployed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, was “killed as a result of a fatal injury during the attack by Taliban insurgents,” the Georgia Ministry of Defense said late on January 6.
This is the second fatality among the Georgian soldiers in a week and the twelfth one since Georgia joined the NATO-led operation in November, 2009. The Georgian troops in Afghanistan operate without caveats.
Corporal Pailodze, who joined the Georgian armed force in 2008, had the Medal for Participation in International Operations, according to MoD.
The 31st infantry battalion is now in the Helmand province for its second, six-month deployment.
The battalion was the first Georgian military unit, which was deployed in Helmand to serve alongside with the U.S. marines, in April, 2010; during its first six-month deployment, the battalion lost five of its soldiers.
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.