Mortar attack on Dutch base in Iraq
22 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch military base in southern Iraq came under mortar attack on Thursday morning. One mortar shell landed inside the base, but did not cause any injuries or damage. This is the first time the Dutch headquarters has been attacked.
“Everyone is safe and that is the most important thing,” a military spokesman said. It is unclear how many mortars were fired at the base as all but one missed their targets. The incident is under investigation.
There are 1,261 Dutch marines stationed at As Samawah in Al Muthanna province. The area has been peaceful compared with Baghdad and Falluja. But on Wednesday it was reported an Iraqi was killed at a checkpoint manned by Dutch troops.
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, a Defence Ministry spokesman said. That incident is also under investigation.
In response to the mortar attack at 3am local time on Thursday morning, personnel at the Dutch base — known as Camp Smitty — were ordered to take shelter in underground bunkers. A short time later the troops returned to their posts.
Security in and around the base has been tightened following the attack.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + Iraq