Netherlands wrongfully bombarded residential complex in Afghanistan in 2007: court

THE HAGUE - The Netherlands wrongfully bombarded a residential complex during the battle for the Afghan valley of Chora in 2007, killing several civilians, the court in The Hague ruled on Wednesday. The Dutch State must compensate the victims of the attack. 


The Dutch State argued that the bombardment was lawful because the Taliban used the walled residential complex, called a quala, for military purposes. But according to the court, the armed forces knew that civilians lived in the homes. 


The court also ruled that the Ministry of Defense has not sufficiently shown how it concluded that the Taliban was using the quala. “That conclusion cannot be drawn from the reports submitted by the State, containing logs about the hours just before the bombing,” the court said. 


According to the court, the bombardment of the quala violated the principle of distinction from international humanitarian law. The court also rejected the State’s appeal on the statute of limitations. 


Several victims and surviving relatives filed the lawsuit. They were sleeping in their homes with their families when the bombs fell and asked for compensation from the Ministry of Defense. 


The court awarded the compensation, though the amounts are yet to be determined. 

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