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Another Dutch Marine died in Afghanistan

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Gen. Peter van Uhm said 24-year-old Sgt. Mark Weijdt died after stepping on an improved explosive device during a fire-fight with the Taliban in a valley in the southern province of Uruzgan. Another soldier was slightly injured in the battle.

"Our sincere condolences and sympathies are with the family and friends of this brave soldier, especially during this holiday season," said ISAF spokesman Capt. Mark Windsor Royal Navy. "This soldier's death is an irreplaceable loss to all of us who fight for the peace and stability of Afghanistan. ISAF will continue to fight for the cause for which this brave soldier gave his life." Last April one of the Dutch casualties was Van Uhm's son, who was killed shortly after his father was promoted to lead the country's military as General.


The Dutch troops are due to leave Afghanistan in 2010, but prime minister Balkenende has not ruled out extending their mission if U.S. President-elect Barack Obama asks for help in intensifying the fight against the Taliban after he takes office.

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