Kiwi troops 'safer' following strike – Key
Mon, 26 Nov 2012 6:01p.m.
By Adam Ray
This afternoon more details were released of the air strike that took out Taliban leader Abdullah Kalta. It was revealed the man responsible for the deaths of four New Zealanders was killed just as he was about to launch another attack.
As a Taliban commander, Kalta is understood to have been responsible for the attacks that killed Corporal Luke Tamatea, Private Richard Harris and Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker in August of this year, and Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell in 2010.
Prime Minister John Key says Kalta was “seen as a very significant”, and that his death means New Zealand troops will be safer.
Kabul-based journalist Jon Stephenson says Kalta was a highly skilled leader.
“The coalition and Afghan forces will be very happy with the news of his demise – a major blow to the Afghan insurgent network,” he says.
But coalition forces found him elusive until last Wednesday when they tracked him to Kahmard district in northeast Bamiyan province. An airstrike was called in, killing him and four other insurgents.
The Government says an SAS team contributed intelligence for the attack but wasn't directly involved.
“They gathered information and passed it on to ISAF,” says Mr Key.
Kalta's death may improve security for Kiwi troops in Bamiyan but Mr Stephenson says coalition forces have other targets.
“Operations will be ongoing,” he says.
Corporal Tamatea's mother Lynn McSweeny told 3 News that Kalta's death is some relief, but she is thinking of Kalta's family who are grieving over a death from war, as is her family.
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27/11/2012 12:06:42 p.m.
They just up set a whole more to come after them
27/11/2012 8:45:51 a.m.
Well done, sooner there than here. If people thing this lot want to sit around and break bread are living in fantasy land. Lets not be precious hypocrites from the safety of our armchairs.
27/11/2012 12:09:26 a.m.
Troops in safer position following strike, Thats what they said at their end too.
26/11/2012 10:07:10 p.m.
Pied Piper wrote:
Do you pay taxes as a citizen of NZ? Of course you do so therefore you bear just as much responsibility as those who serve on the front lines for whatever they do as directed by the democratically elected government of NZ. You willingly and knowingly feed the governmental system that takes these actions by way of financing the processes. Your culpabilty is clear. You call this an "invasion"? Well, you as taxpayers enabled the "invasion" by your willingness to fund the NZ Government through the taxes you compliantly pay. You want to whinge about this killing and the actions of the NZ government? Start with yourselves first. YOU are as liable for any condemnation and denigration that YOU so sneeringly and hypocritically direct at others.
26/11/2012 9:44:50 p.m.
Troops are safe? How can Key KNOW that! Taliban is not just one man who is dead. There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousand Taliban activists.
26/11/2012 9:29:21 p.m.
'show me the body' Mr Key - and some real evidence that Kalta was involved in killing our soldiers - otherwise this is purely propaganda for another unjust cause
26/11/2012 8:16:02 p.m.
I can appreciate Lynn McSweeney's comments and she would know. War is a terrible thing and we should not forget that NZ is in Afghanistan as an invading force. So while John Key has the revenge he desperately sought it will all be in vain. In the end the current corrupt Afghani Government won’t last five minutes after western forces leave.
26/11/2012 7:28:31 p.m.
Mike Truebridge wrote:
Why in hell will it be safer PM?,you are so brave with 20 plus body guards,go and fight your own dirty war.
26/11/2012 7:22:41 p.m.
wouldnt our troops be even safer if they were back in NZ?
26/11/2012 7:00:29 p.m.
Paint that target bright and gay, I'm sure no one will think its a bullseye.
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