Dutch court rules 2007 Dutch bombing in Afghanistan was illegal

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday the shelling by Dutch soldiers of a residential complex in the Afghan province of Uruzgan in June 2007 was illegal, adding the Netherlands should compensate the victims.

The Dutch Defence Ministry had asked prosecutors almost two years ago to look into this bombing, which killed dozens of civilians, following a report by a war veteran questioning the legitimacy of this action in the Chora valley.

“The Netherlands was responsible for the shelling of the houses. It was known these houses were inhabited by civilians. The State invoked the fact the taliban used the houses for military purposes (…) and thus that the bombing was not unlawful,” the court in The Hague said in a statement.

“But the court rules that the State hasn’t sufficiently made clear on what basis it came to the conclusion that these houses were being used by the taliban (…) therefore the bombing is illegal.”

The court also said the amount of the victims’ compensation should be determined at a later date.

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