NZ soldiers killed while assisting Afghan forces
Sun, 05 Aug 2012 6:01p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
Two New Zealand soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and a further six were injured in New Zealand’s darkest day since the war began in 2001.
The Kiwi soldiers went to the aid of local authorities who were being attacked by insurgents near a village south of Doabe in Bamiyan province.
Two Afghan special police were also killed and another 11 were injured.
Flags at Returned Services Associations were lowered to half-mast with the news.
At a press conference today Prime Minister John Key offered his condolences to the relatives of those who were killed.
“These soldiers have paid the highest price and my thoughts are with their families and friends at this incredibly difficult time,” he says.
At 7pm last night, midday at the Romero and Doabe bases in Bamiyan province, as many as 40 Kiwi combat troops went to the aid of Afghan special police who had been ambushed while arresting insurgents.
But when the Kiwi reinforcements arrived so did reinforcements for the other side.
“We suffered two dead and the remaining wounded in about a two to three minute time frame in that first burst of fire,” says Lieutenant General Rhys Jones of the New Zealand Defence Force,
It is not thought the attackers were Taliban, but they were attacked on what is considered a main highway for several insurgent groups.
“This is a bit of road also that follows the river lines and steep terrain and it's very difficult to get off the roads and so it's classic territory for IEDs and ambushes,” says Mr Jones.
Details are still being confirmed but the Defence Force says one New Zealand soldier was in an armoured vehicle when it was hit by an anti-tank rocket. The other was on foot, killed by either gun fire or shrapnel. One died at the scene, the other while being evacuated by helicopter.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says this is a “tragic day”.
“I can tell you this is going to felt very heavily across the NZDF,” he says.
The bodies of the fallen New Zealand soldiers will be flown home next week with help from the US and Australian defence forces.
Their names are expected to be released tomorrow.
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11/08/2012 12:32:40 p.m.
This is a very tragic loss, my heart goes out to the families. The problem the kiwi army has, is that our soldiers are so used to peace keeping duties. Our government has only let our SAS soldiers fight in a combat role. To save more kiwi soldiers lives send the SAS back in, as they have the actual combat experiance. The government has a lot to be blamed for this latest loss of kiwi lives. They new that our SAS looked after and watch the kiwi peace keepers backs in Afgan.
6/08/2012 9:05:05 a.m.
Tragic but what do we expect? This is a war and people die. The fault lies with our own PM for sending troops! Why are we there?? For what reason?? It costs NZ tax payer huge money and for what?? Just to risk the lives of our poor soldiers so John Key can get buddy buddy with US?? Shame on you John! Wars just create more hatred and bitterness, people remember their loved ones that have died on both sides, but particularly when you are the invader and aggressor! JK has dragged NZ right into the middle of this war - WHY??? We all know that US use war as a business and want to control the world which I think NZ should take no part in? The way US tortured its war prisoners was dreadful and barbaric so get ready for repercussion! The way US send drones to bomb civilian areas where "so called" terrorist are hiding killing and maiming women and children is criminal and barbaric so get ready for repercussion! And since NZ troops are supporting this it means NZ supports and agrees with this barbaric action!!
5/08/2012 9:45:03 p.m.
Robert W wrote:
Deepest condolences to the familys of the deceased and quick recoverys to our wounded soldiers. Commiserations to the guys in the PRT who survived.
You are not alone, you are all in our hearts,we follow your progress constantly. You are all our brave New Zealand soldiers doing a great job.
Godbless you all, and Godbless New Zealand.
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