Herat (Afghanistan), Jan 1 (IANS) Spain’s King Juan Carlos made an unannounced visit to Spanish troops serving in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, EFE news agency reported Tuesday.
The monarch arrived here Monday aboard a Hercules transport plane from Kuwait, accompanied by Spanish Defence Minister Jose Antonio Alonso and officials of the military.
Officials said the journey was kept secret for security reasons. Juan Carlos will turn 70 on Jan 5.
The monarch, who has a tradition of holiday visits to military units serving abroad, spent his 60th birthday with Spanish peacekeepers in Bosnia.
Four Spanish soldiers have been killed in 2007 in Afghanistan.
Currently, a total of 700 Spanish soldiers are in the ISAF. Spanish troops are also in Kosovo, Bosnia and Lebanon.