Dutch chief's son killed in Afghanistan for 'Fitna'

Taliban claims attack was in retaliation of anti-Islam film


The son of the Netherlands' new military chief was killed by a bomb in southern Afghanistan on Friday, in what Taliban militants said was retaliation to an anti-Islam film by a Dutch MP.

Lieutenant Dennis van Uhm, the son of General Peter van Uhm, was one of two Dutch NATO soldiers killed by the roadside attack, a day after a suicide blast took 25 Afghan lives.

General van Uhm was named top commander of the Dutch armed forces only on Thursday.

"We knew that the son of Dutch chief of staff was in the vehicle," rebel spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP, changing his account from an earlier statement that the militant group did not know who was in the car.

"This (attack) was part of our operation against the Dutch. First it was because they have occupied our country and secondly it was in retaliation to the Dutch insult to our great prophet Mohammed," Ahmadi said.

Ahmadi's claim could not be independently confirmed and the rebel spokesman has in the past made exaggerated claims.

Four Dutch soldiers were returning from a reconnaissance mission when the blast hit their vehicle in the troubled southern province of Uruzgan, Dutch defense ministry spokesman General Freek Meulman said.

The two men killed were 23 and 22 years old, said Meulman. Two other soldiers aged 20 and 25 were wounded, with one in critical condition and the other stable.

The militia had threatened to step up attacks against Dutch forces in Afghanistan if far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders broadcast his anti-Islam film, which was aired last month.

More than 1,600 Dutch soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which is fighting the Taliban insurgency.

The Dutch government decided in November to extend the mission until late 2010.

The Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 in a US-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks on the United States after refusing to hand over Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.