April 1, 2008 / 10:45 PM / 11 years ago

Afghan Taliban say attack Dutch over anti-Islam film

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - The Taliban has said two attacks on Dutch forces in Afghanistan were in retaliation for an anti-Islamic film by a Dutch politician, the SITE Intelligence Group said on Tuesday.

In a communique posted on Web sites used by militants dated April 1, the Taliban said its Shura Council Leadership announced reprisal operations against Dutch forces because "one of the members of the Dutch parliament produced a film that hurts Islam, and he published it with bad intentions".

Dutch MP Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party, launched the anti-Koran film "Fitna" — an Arabic term that can mean "strife" — last Thursday on the Internet.

The film urges Muslims to tear out "hate-filled" verses from the Koran, and starts and ends with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, accompanied by the sound of ticking.

It was condemned by Muslim nations as a provocation, while Dutch Muslim leaders urged restraint. The Dutch government has said the film in no way reflects its own views.

Before its launch NATO expressed concern it could worsen security for foreign forces in Afghanistan, including 1,650 Dutch troops.

The Taliban statement referred to two revenge attacks on Sunday which it said killed a large number of "occupier soldiers".

The Dutch Defence Ministry said in a Web statement dated April 1 that five Dutch soldiers from NATO-led forces were wounded in two separate incidents on Sunday.

One soldier lost both his legs in the explosion and his condition was critical but stable, the ministry said.

The Dutch ministry said no Dutch soldiers have died in attacks in the past week. (Reporting by Gilbert Krieger in Amsterdam, writing by Mary Gabriel; editing by Myra MacDonald)

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