Soldier killed in Helmand

20th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 April 2007, THE HAGUE – For the first time in Afghanistan a Dutch life has been lost in war-related violence in the country.

20 April 2007

THE HAGUE – For the first time in Afghanistan a Dutch life has been lost in war-related violence in the country.

Cor Strik, a 21-year-old corporal, is presumed to have died immediately after stepping on some sort of mine or other explosive this morning. He was part of a company taking part in a large offensive by Afghan and foreign troops in the southern province of Helmand.

Commander of the Armed Forces General Dick Berlijn announced the news in The Hague today at about noon. He talked about a "courageous and valued colleague" and a "blow" to the defence department, "despite the fact that everyone is aware of the dangers."

Berlijn pointed out that the military mission is also in the best interests of the Netherlands. "Afghanistan must never again become a free haven for international terrorists."

The government said it was "shocked." Defence Minister Eimert Middelkoop said today that "what we already knew has now become visible, the fact that there are risks involved in this mission."

The NATO ISAF troops Strik was working with were trying to secure a hydro-power plant which Taliban fighters had taken over. The plant is capable of providing 2 million Afghans with electricity.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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