Spanish soldier attacked in Lithuania

A female Spanish Air Force soldier was attacked in Šiauliai, northern Lithuania, on Tuesday night.

According to Šiauliai County police, the incident took place at 7.30 p.m. when the Spanish soldier, 36, had her mouth covered and a knife placed to the throat from behind. The woman is being treated for shock.

The attacker, 23, was detained and taken into custody.

Spanish, Portuguese and French troops are now deployed in Šiauliai as part of the NATO air policing mission.

Spain deployed six Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft to Šiauliai. Soldiers of the Royal Spanish Air Force are taking part in the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states for the fifth time. They were in the lead of the mission in 2005 and 2016, and augmented the mission from Amari in Estonia in 2015 and 2017.

NATO took the responsibility for the security of the Baltic airspace in March 2004 when Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia became NATO members. NATO allies deploy their air personnel and assets to conduct the Baltic Air Policing mission from the Lithuanian Air Force Air Base in Šiauliai on a rotational basis to fill in the Baltic States’ shortage of relevant aircraft for independent protection of national airspace.

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