There are no indications that civilians were unlawfully shot in 2007 during an incident during the mission in the Afghan province of Uruzgan. This Tuesday, the Public Prosecution Office (OM) concluded an investigation into the story of a soldier in the Netherlands devotion†
The veteran told the newspaper in late 2020 that he allegedly fired on Afghan homes with his unit during a mission in 2007. He said he was ordered to shoot an area of the homes to see if there was a response from the radio-spokesperson. According to him, it went wrong, which led to him shooting at houses.
The Public Prosecution announced later that it would open an investigation into the man’s statements. This showed that the soldier spoke of the so-called use of force on July 1, 2007. Two houses were shot at and people may have been killed and injured.
The Public Prosecution did not find any evidence to support the man’s story.
Ask if there is a legitimate military purpose
During the investigation by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, witnesses were heard, information was requested from the Ministry of Defense and computer data was confiscated. The Public Prosecution Office acknowledges that the investigation was unable to provide a definitive answer to all points. However, she says there is sufficient basis for a decision not to prosecute the man and the others involved.
“The question that must be answered in this light is whether the homes or people who were there were a justified military target,” a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Office said in an explanation to NU.nl. The Public Prosecution sees no reason to doubt the decision to identify the sites and people as military targets at that time.
The investigation did not clarify whether there were casualties and/or deaths, how many, if any, and whether they were civilians or combatants.
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