Dutch defence ministry failed to mention civilian casualties

27th July 2010, Comments 0 comments


The recent disclosure of a six-year archive of classified US military documents on the Afghan war by the website WikiLeaks.org has brought to light that the Dutch defence ministry on at least one occasion suppressed sensitive details about civilian casualties.

The US documents show that Dutch Apache helicopter gunships accidentally killed four villagers and injured six others who took part in the defence of Chenartu in Kandahar province on 28 March 2007. In a press release published a day later, the ministry said four people were killed and six injured but failed to mention that the victims were all civilians.  

A spokesperson for the ministry said on Monday that the facts of the incident were not reported to avoid unduly influencing the Public Prosecutors’ Office which had launched an investigation into the incident. The ministry says the Public Prosecutors’ Office could have reached a different conclusion.


A total of 110 Afghan civilians have lost their lives as a result of Dutch military operations in Afghanistan. 



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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