Dutch troops attacked again in Iraq
17 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — Dutch troops have come under fire in the same region of southern Iraq where a Dutch military policeman was killed in an ambush at the weekend.
17 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch troops have come under fire in the same region of southern Iraq where a Dutch military policeman was killed in an ambush at the weekend.
Insurgents opened fire with small-calibre weapons on a Dutch patrol near Ar Rumaythah at 10.30pm local time on Monday, an army spokesman said. The Dutch returned fire briefly before the incident ended. Hours later two mortar rounds landed close to the soldiers' base at Ar Rumanythah.
The Netherlands has 1,276 Marines and other military personnel in Iraq. About 160 Dutch soldiers are stationed at Ar Rumanythah
On Saturday a patrol from Ar Rumanythah was caught in a well-organised ambush. RPG anti-tank rounds were fired at the Dutch jeeps during the ensuing gun battle that lasted for several hours. Military policeman Jeroen Severs died during the attack and five of his colleagues were seriously injured.
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has vowed to keep the troops in Iraq despite the recent attacks.
A threat, supposedly from a terror group, was posted on the internet at the weekend warning Italy and the Netherlands of 'nights of blood' and an 'Islamic earthquake' if they countries did not withdraw from Iraq.
Meanwhile, family members of Dutch soldiers serving in Iraq have launched a campaign to call for better protection for the military.
Jacqueline Donkers, a spokeswoman for the group, said the government in The Hague was not doing enough to ensure the soldiers had the best protection. If the government does not act quickly, the group wants the 1,276 Dutch troops brought home, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + Dutch in Iraq