Libyan TV shows footage of captured Dutch chopper

4th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Libyan state television has broadcast footage of the Dutch navy helicopter and crew who were captured by government militias on Sunday. The footage included shots of the helicopter’s machine gun and the crew’s personal weapons and other equipment.

Libyan television says the Dutch helicopter entered Libyan airspace “in violation of international law.” The Dutch soldiers were arrested on Sunday while attempting to evacuate two people from the coastal city of Sirte, the native town of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

A commentary under the images shown said: “According to the broadcaster al-Arabiya, this helicopter was sent to rescue people, but we can see something else here.”  The last remark was made as weapons were shown.

“The helicopter flew into Libyan airspace and landed in Sirte without any permission from the authorities and this is in violation of international law,” continued the commentary.

Guns and dollars The three captured marines were also shown – they were being held in an office and were shown drinking cans of soft drinks - followed by more shots of handguns, a telephone and bundles of US dollars which were, according to the broadcaster, found in the helicopter.

Images were also shown of a crowd of people who were cheering next to the helicopter – there was no audio so it was unclear what was being said.   Evacuee safe The man that the marine helicopter was sent to rescue was also captured with the marines, but has been handed over to the Dutch embassy. He is now back in the Netherlands.

He arrived on Thursday in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. The man worked for the Dutch engineering company Royal Haskoning. The company had three staff members in Libya; two British colleagues returned home last week.

Haskoning According to the company website, the firm has been working on several port infrastructure projects in Tripoli, Sirte, Azzawiya and Zuwara for more than ten years. This involves planning docks, designing breakwaters,  quays and quay walls. It is also involved in infrastructure for the oil and gas industry.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

0 Comments To This Article