Expatica news

Iraqi shot at Dutch security checkpoint

21 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — An Iraqi was killed in a shooting incident involving Dutch troops on Wednesday morning, but no injuries were reported among the peacekeeping troops.

The shooting occurred at a checkpoint at about 3.30am. A Defence Ministry spokesman said a vehicle with an unknown number of Iraqis probably ignored a stop sign, prompting Dutch troops and members of the Iraqi Civil Defence Corps to open fire.

It is suspected that the driver was hit and died at the scene, but it is not yet known how many Iraqis were in the car or what the vehicle was carrying. The shooting occurred on the main through road from Basra to Baghdad, near the Dutch base in Ar Rumaytah.

The victim’s body was taken to the mobile Dutch hospital in the city As Samawah for a post mortem examination, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

The ministry spokesman could not confirm if Dutch troops obeyed the regulations of violent engagement, but said it was believed that troops did not breach regulations. Military police are investigating the incident.

It is the second time an Iraqi has been killed in a shooting involving Dutch soldiers. A suspected looter was killed on 27 December last year, possibly by a warning shot fired by a Dutch marine.

The marine was arrested and flown home to the Netherlands to face murder or manslaughter charges. He was released in January, but has not been allowed to return to active duty in Iraq.

There are 1,261 Dutch soldiers stationed in the south of Iraq. Despite continued violence and bloodshed elsewhere, the Dutch deployment has been spared any casualties. Several shooting incidents have been reported.

The government — which gave political, but not military support to the US-led war against Iraq last year — is expected to shortly extend the mission until at least the end of this year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news