Europe

Dutchmen 'blew up own armoured car' in Afghanistan

A Dutch Bushmaster armoured vehicle in Uruzgan, Afghanistan (image: Dutch defence ministry)
Image caption The Dutch army left Afghanistan in the summer

Dutch military police have accused two soldiers of blowing up their own armoured car with a grenade while serving in Afghanistan.

The two got out of the Bushmaster seconds before the blast at a Dutch outpost in Uruzgan province this March, and nobody was injured.

An attack was suspected at first but, months later, the pair were summoned for questioning in the Netherlands.

Both men deny responsibility for the blast north of Deh Rawod.

One of them has since left the army and sources say he has left the country, Radio Netherlands reports.

The other is still in the army and has not been suspended.

Dutch troops left Afghanistan in August after a four-year deployment in which they won praise for their effectiveness.

Nato had wanted the Netherlands to extend its mission but the request triggered a political row which brought down the country's coalition government in February.

The Dutch army bought a fleet of Australian-built Bushmasters especially for service in Afghanistan.

According to Australian price quotes from 2000, the unit price for a standard version was 562,878 Australian dollars (£350,000; US$564,000).

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