Dutch soldier, children killed by suicide bomb
A 20-year-old Dutch soldier and at least five Afghan children were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in central Tarin Kowt, close to the Dutch military base on Friday.
According to early reports, three soldiers and least 13 Afghanis were also injured when the attacker drove his vehicle into a Nato convoy touring the Uruzgan provincial capital.
At a news conference in The Hague (photo) army commander Dick Berlijn described the attack as ‘cowardly’.
Defence minister Eimert Middelkoop said he had been ‘deeply affected’ by the event. It showed that opponents of the peace protest were out to make as many victims as possible, Middelkoop said. But the attack did nothing to lessen Dutch commitment to helping the people of Afghanistan, he said. ‘They can count on us.’
The death brings the total of Dutch soldiers killed in Afghanistan to seven – two of whom were killed in bomb attacks. The Dutch government is due to decide this summer whether to extend the role of Dutch troops in the region beyond 2008.
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