( Reuter )- Three Dutch soldiers from NATO-led forces in Afghanistan were hospitalized on Sunday after their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device near the town of Tarin Kowt , the Defence Ministry said.
One soldier lost both his legs in the explosion and his condition was critical, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.
"It is sad to conclude that terrorists, who intend to block a peaceful and energetic Afghanistan, use this kind of cowardly method," said Dutch Finance Minister Eimert van Middelkoop .
"However our soldiers are determined to continue their hard job in Afghanistan," he said in the statement.
Violence has surged in Afghanistan in the last two years, with some 6,000 people killed in 2007, the deadliest year since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001.
More than 200 foreign troops were killed there in 2007.
On Thursday Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party, launched an anti-Koran film and before its launch NATO had expressed concern it could worsen security for foreign forces in Afghanistan, including 1,650 Dutch troops.
The film, which 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, was condemned by Muslim nations on Friday, while Dutch Muslim leaders urged restraint.
Before the release of the film demonstrators in Kabul protested against it and chanted "death to the Netherlands, while burning Dutch flags.