Son Of Top Dutch General Is Killed In Afghanistan

Son Of Top Dutch General Is Killed In Afghanistan
April 19th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Son Of Top Dutch General Is Killed In Afghanistan

Son Of Top Dutch General Is Killed In Afghanistan
New York Times
April 19, 2008 KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A roadside bomb attack on a patrol of Dutch soldiers on Friday killed the son of the Netherlands’ top military officer, a day after his father took command of his country’s armed forces, officials said.
Lt. Dennis van Uhm, 23, the son of Gen. Peter van Uhm, was one of two Dutch soldiers killed in the explosion seven miles northwest of Camp Holland, the Dutch military base in Oruzgan Province, a spokesman, Lt. Gen. Freek Meulman, said. Through a spokesman, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called Lieutenant van Uhm’s death “an unprecedented tragedy” and said the weekly Dutch cabinet meeting had been briefly halted so ministers could reflect privately.
There was no immediate comment from General van Uhm, who took up a new job as the overall commander of the Dutch military on Thursday in a ceremony outside Parliament in The Hague.
“This morning I asked General van Uhm, the military commander, to concentrate on his personal situation,” Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop said at a news conference. He said the contrast between Thursday’s ceremony and Friday’s loss “could not be starker.”
The Dutch are fighting alongside American, British and Canadian troops at the forefront of NATO’s battles with the Taliban and other insurgents in southern Afghanistan. Other NATO nations including Germany, Italy and Spain are based in the relatively safe north and west.
Friday’s bombing brings the death toll of Dutch soldiers to 16 since the Netherlands began contributing combat forces to NATO’s Afghanistan mission in August 2006. The Dutch have 1,650 troops in southern Afghanistan.
“It is particularly bitter that after yesterday’s ceremonial changing of the military command we heard that this family, which yesterday was so happy, got such terrible news,” Mr. Balkenende said.
Two other soldiers were wounded in the attack on the soldiers’ vehicle, which was returning to base after a reconnaissance mission, the Dutch military said.
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the group took responsibility for the blast.

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