The Dutch soldier killed in Afghanistan on Friday was ‘probably’ killed by a roadside bomb, defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting.
Earlier reports said the soldier, who has not yet been named, had been killed by a land mine. MPs from all parties described the death of the 21-year-old corporal as ‘shocking’ but stressed it was one of the risks of the job.
He was killed in the southern province of Helmand while on a foot patrol as part of Operation Achilles, launched last month by NATO to flush out Taliban militants.
Most of the 2,000 Dutch troops in Afghanistan are stationed in the neighbouring province of Uruzgan on a reconstruction mission.
If the soldier turns to have been deliberately targeted, it will be the first combat death of a Dutch soldier in Afghanistan. Four others have died in an accident and one committed suicide.
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