Two more Dutch soldiers fell in Afghanistan, bringing the death toll for The Netherlands to 21 in that theatre.
On Sunday, September 6, Corporal Kevin Van de Rijdt (26, photo left) fell in a firefight near Deh Rawod, Uruzgan province. He was a member of the Commando Corps based in Roosendaal, southern Holland. In Uruzgan, together with his colleagues and troopers of the Marine Corps, he belonged to special unit Task Force 55.
On Monday September 7, 44 year old Sergeant Major Mark Leijsen (photo right) died when an IED exploded near the convoy he was riding in. Three Dutch troopers and an Afghan translator were wounded in the same attack. The explosion took place at 2pm local time near the forward post of Tabar, around 9 kloms north of Camp Holland. Sgt. Major Leijsen, of 101 Engineer Battalion from Wezep, The Netherlands, was a member of an OMLT (Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team) training an ANA unit. His OMLT Team took part in Operation Ghat Mahy, meant to gain control of the western part of the Deh Reshan area.
R.I.P. for these brave troopers. My thoughts and prayers go out to Kevins and Marks families and loved ones.