Dutch defense minister quits over artillery training deaths

AP News
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Posted: Oct 03, 2017 3:19 PM
Dutch defense minister quits over artillery training deaths

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Netherlands' defense minister and the country's military chief have both resigned following a critical report into a 2016 artillery training accident that killed 2 peacekeeping troops and wounded a third.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, who has been a caretaker minister since national elections in March, has been under pressure since the publication last week of the independent Dutch Safety Board report into the accident in Mali.

She announced her resignation Tuesday night in Parliament following a long debate into the report, which criticized the defense ministry for "serious shortcomings" in its care for troops sent on a peacekeeping mission in the African nation.

Hennis-Plasschaert told lawmakers that Defense Chief Gen. Tom Middendorp also was resigning, shortly before he was due to retire.