Radio shortage highlighted in Afghan deaths

A shortage of radios could have played a part in the death of two Dutch soldiers in friendly fire in Afghanistan at the weekend, reports Tuesday’s Trouw.

The paper says military union Acom wants the defence ministry to investigate the shortage which was reported to officials months ago.
A defence ministry spokesman told Trouw that it is too early to ‘rule out’ a lack of radios as a factor. He also said it is ‘premature’ to talk of any change to the military operation in the southern province of Uruzgan.
Two Dutch and two Afghan soldiers died during a reconnaisance operation in darkness and bad weather. According to the Volkskrant, Dutch and Afghan forces were on patrol to test the strength of the Taliban.
Two investigations into the incident have been launched: one by the defence ministry and the other by the military police on behalf of the public prosecution department.
The AD reports that Christian Democrat and SP MPs are demanding clarification from defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop about the precise aim of the operation and the lack of air cover.

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