Afghan civilians killed in Dutch air attack

Politicians have expressed their regret that Afghan civilians were killed following an attack by a Dutch F-16 fighter jet, report various media on Friday.

According to the Volkskrant local sources are reporting that between seven and nine people died when the plane was employed to assist a US military unit which had requested air support during a battle in the southern province of Helmand.
The Dutch defence department has confirmed that civilians were hit by a Dutch bomb and army chief Peter van Uhm has said that the incident will be investigated but that the pilot involved followed correct procedures, according to media reports.
The Dutch fighter jet targeted a building from which Taliban fighters were shooting at US soldiers. It emerged later that civilians were also in the building.
In parliament on Thursday evening MPs from most of the main political parties said they regretted the loss of civilian lives. Socilaist Party MP Harry van Bommel asked the defence minister to confirm that there will be a Dutch investigation into the incident as well as one by the international ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
‘Civilian deaths can never be dismissed with the words that procedures were followed,’ he is reported by the AD newspaper as saying.
Green Left MP Mariko Peters questioned whether air attacks ought to be used in residential areas.

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