Sunday, April 20, 2008

One in two Dutch oppose Afghanistan mission -poll

AMSTERDAM, April 19 (Reuters) - Almost half the population of the Netherlands opposes the Dutch mission in Afghanistan, according to a poll conducted after the son of the new chief of the Dutch military was killed there on Friday.

Dutch troops have been participating in the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan since 2006. The Dutch government decided last year to extend the mission in southern Afghanistan until 2010 after a heated debate and under pressure from allies.

The survey by pollster Maurice de Hond, released late on Friday, showed that 49 percent of the Dutch were against the mission, up from 44 percent about six months ago. Support for Dutch participation shrank to 46 percent from 51 percent.

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