Two Dutch die in Afghan helicopter crash

27th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands has suffered its first casualties in Afghanistan days before its military mission officially becomes active.

27 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands has suffered its first casualties in Afghanistan days before its military mission officially becomes active.

Afghan border police found several bodies at the scene of the crash in a mountainous area in the eastern province of Paktia, a senior police officer said on Thursday.

The Russian-made civilian Mi-8 helicopter, operated by a logistics firm, Tryco, crashed between 22 and 25 miles north-east of Khost city on Wednesday. It is believed 16 people were on board.  A search for the crash site was called off late on Wednesday due to the poor weather conditions and failing light.

The passengers included a lieutenant colonel of the Dutch Air Force and a sergeant of the Dutch Army. The pair were attached to the Dutch command staff in the Afghan capital Kabul. The nationalities of the other victims were not immediately known.

The main Dutch force is based in Uruzgan province. The Dutch Ministry of Defence in The Hague said the two were on their way from Kabul to a meeting with US military officials to discuss the security arrangements in Paktia.

They wanted to see whether the same security measures could be applied to Uruzgan. The Netherlands is providing 1,400 troops to aid reconstruction in the region. The mission begins officially on 1 August.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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