Expatica news

Tense troops fire warning shots

6 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — As inquiries continue into the killing of an Iraqi by a Dutch peacekeeper, the Defence Ministry revealed on Tuesday that Dutch marines were involved in another two shooting incidents in Iraq on Saturday.

No deaths or injuries were reported in the latest incidents, the first of which occurred on the route between the southern Iraqi cities of As Samawah and Basra.

Marines fired warning shots when a group of about 100 Iraqi looters became aggressive while they plundered a US fuel truck, an NOS news report said.

The second incident occurred in As Samawah, where a group of Iraqis came under gun attack from a building. Five people were injured and possibly one killed and when the group tried to enter the building, Iraqi police held them back.

The situation threatened to get out of hand and the police called in the assistance of Dutch troops. But the troops were pelted with stones, prompting them again to fire several warning shots.

The two incidents follow the arrest of a sergeant-major, 43, late last month for the death of a suspected Iraqi looter. The man is alleged to have been shot in the back and the soldier was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

The man’s arrest has sparked an intense debate over the use of violence by the nation’s 1,170 peacekeeping troops in Iraq.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news