Page last updated at 18:33 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 19:33 UK

Bomb kills Dutch commander's son

Lt Dennis van Uhm
Lt van Uhm was 23

The son of the new Dutch armed forces commander has been killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

The blast, early on Friday in Uruzgan province, also killed another Dutch soldier and wounded two more.

Lt Dennis van Uhm, 23, was the son of Gen Peter van Uhm, who took up overall command of Dutch forces on Thursday.

A total of 16 Dutch troops have now died in Afghanistan. The Taleban say they targeted Lt van Uhm specifically - a claim rejected by the Dutch.

Taleban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the militants had been waiting for the soldiers.

Gen Peter van Uhm, 17 Apr 08
Gen Peter van Uhm took command in The Hague on Thursday

"When he came out the Taleban planted a mine, which killed him," he told reporters in a phone call from an undisclosed location.

Speaking in The Hague, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said that his information was there was "no indication of any link between this cowardly deed and the fact that it was the son of the defence chief".

Wim van den Burg of the Dutch Federation of Military Personnel thought it very unlikely the Taleban had deliberately targeted Lt van Uhm.

"I doubt they even knew who Van Uhm was - this is just propaganda for them," he was quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying.

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