6 killed in Afghan attack, last Dutch troops leave country

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 1, 2010 19:18

 
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KABUL, Afghanistan — A minibus full of civilians struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan early Sunday, and Afghan officials said six of those on board were killed.

Also Sunday, the last troops from the 1,600-member Dutch military contingent were leaving the country, marking an end to the Netherlands' four-year mission in the central province of Uruzgan. They will be replaced by American, Australian, Slovak and Singaporean forces.

German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, a NATO spokesman, told reporters Sunday in Kabul that the Dutch pullout did not show a weakening of the international coalition.

"The overall force posture of (NATO) and of the Afghan security forces is increasing," Blotz said. However, the increase in NATO troops comes primarily from a surge of US forces — who have recently taken over control of key areas in Helmand and Kandahar from British and Canadian forces.

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