Marechaussee investigates Iraq shooting

2nd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 May 2007, HILVERSUM – The Royal Marechaussee has started an investigation into a shooting in Iraq in which Dutch marines were involved on 7 December 2003. The investigation was launched after one of the marines made a statement to Marechaussee on Tuesday that the shooting may have caused casualties on the Iraqi side.

2 May 2007

HILVERSUM – The Royal Marechaussee has started an investigation into a shooting in Iraq in which Dutch marines were involved on 7 December 2003. The investigation was launched after one of the marines made a statement to Marechaussee on Tuesday that the shooting may have caused casualties on the Iraqi side.

The television programme NOVA has heard from several marines involved that there were one or more casualties that went unmentioned in the official report, which NOVA has had access to.

The public prosecution department in Arnhem has instructed the Marechaussee to investigate the matter, according to a spokesperson for the Marechaussee.

On the day in question 16 Dutch marines were travelling by jeep from Al Khidr to As Samawah. Soon after departure they say they were fired upon from a car wreck 100 metres from the side of the road. They return fire, shooting more than 500 bullets in five minutes' time. Several marines farther on saw people flee to a Bedouin tent. They saw at least one Iraqi hit the ground and a second fall and be dragged away by the others.

The marines search the wreck but find nothing. "There was no body, no blood, no empty cartridges, no footsteps could be discerned in the muddy sand," a witness told NOVA. They did not approach the tent as they felt it was too dangerous.

The official report mentions that the marines were fired upon, returned fire and that nothing was found after the site was searched.

A spokesperson for the Marechaussee said on Tuesday that no deaths, no injuries and no damage was reported. No subsequent investigation was launched at the time since there was no indication of any criminal offences.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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