Dutchman among civilians killed in Iraq
17 March 2004
AMSTERDAM — A Dutch civilian was killed on Tuesday in what appeared from RTL news footage to be a gun attack south of Baghdad, the Netherlands’ first casualty in Iraq, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has confirmed.
The man was working as an engineer in the violence-torn nation, but his identity has not yet been released because the ministry must first inform his family. The ministry has not yet confirmed who the man worked for.
The attack took place in Hilla, a city located about 100km to the south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. A German colleague was also killed in the attack, but further details are not yet known.
An Iraqi driver and an Iraqi security officer who were accompanying the two westerners were also shot and killed, news agency ANP reported.
According to German press agency DPA, the Dutch and German engineers worked for a German water pump manufacturer and were travelling from Baghdad to a water purification plant in Karbala when the attack took place.
Speaking during a visit to Washington on Tuesday, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said the attack was “terrible news, highly regrettable” and he expressed sympathy for the man’s family.
The Christian Democrat CDA leader also said the attack once again clearly demonstrated the risks that persist in Iraq, public news service NOS reported.
Four US nationals died and a fifth was hospitalised after gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul on Monday. The Baptist missionaries were relief workers with a non-governmental agency.
In a separate attack, an Iraqi translator working for the US military was also shot and killed in Mosul on Tuesday morning. Three Iraqi policemen were also died in that attack.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news