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Afghanistan: Civilian deaths from bombing must be thoroughly investigated

1 October 2009

Afghanistan: Civilian deaths from bombing must be thoroughly investigated

SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel has asked the Minister of Defence to launch a thorough and exhaustive enquiry into circumstances surrounding the bombing in Afghanistan by a Dutch F-16 aircraft through which a still unknown number of civilians lost their lives. Following an exchange of fire involving British troops in Lashkar Gah in the province of Helmand, Dutch F-16s were called to support. During the raid that followed, a bomb was dropped on a house, wounding and killing a number of civilians.

Harry van Bommel “This requires a thorough enquiry," says Van Bommel. “In my view the commander-in-chief of armed forces General Van Uhm spoke prematurely in stating that the raid proceeded in keeping with the regulations. Before that can be confirmed, the matter must be investigated." The precise circumstances surrounding events remain unclear. “The international military force is facing a growing problem in winning the trust of the Afghan population. Strikes on civilians are appalling. This is making the Afghan war ever more dreadful and ever more hopeless."

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