Dutch troops aid Canadians in Afghanistan
4 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Just over 100 Dutch troops have been temporarily re-assigned to the southern Afghan province of Kandahar to assist the Canadian forces there.
4 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — Just over 100 Dutch troops have been temporarily re-assigned to the southern Afghan province of Kandahar to assist the Canadian forces there.
The Dutch soldiers left their base in neighbouring Uruzgan and travelled to Kandahar last week, Defence officials in The Hague confirmed on Monday.
They have been assigned to guard a base on the route between Kandahar city and Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan, to facilitate Canadian participation in the major offensive against the Taliban. Hundreds of Taliban fighters have reportedly been killed or captured in recent days.
Four Canadian soldiers were killed and six others were injured during a battle with insurgents on Sunday. And on Monday it was reported that one Canadian soldier was killed and others wounded when Nato warplanes accidentally strafed their position during the same operation in the south of Kandahar.
The sending 1,400 Dutch troops to Afghanistan in August was controversial and it eventually won political backing on the understanding the contingent would concentrate on reconstruction in Uruzgan rather than battling the Taliban.
Dutch Defence Minister Henk Kamp told MPs last week providing occasional assistance was covered by the mandate agreed by parliament. "There is no question of a structural deployment outside the province of Uruzgan," he said.
The Dutch Socialist Party sought clarification of the issue following reports that the regional command of the Nato-led international force wants more freedom to use troops more effectively in southern Afghanistan.
The body of a Dutch pilot was brought home to the Netherlands from Afghanistan on Monday. He died when his F-16 jet crashed in Ghazni Province last Thursday. Officials said the crash was an accident.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news