Two Kiwis killed in Afghanistan
Sun, 05 Aug 2012 9:21a.m.
By 3 News online staff
Two New Zealand Defence Force personnel serving in Afghanistan have been killed and six injured in a clash with insurgents.
Two local Afghan security personnel serving with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team were also killed in the attack, and a further 11 injured.
The attack occurred yesterday at 7pm (NZT) near a village south of Do Abe, in the North East of Afghanistan.
New Zealand forces were called to assist local security after they encountered suspected insurgents near a village.
Prime Minister John Key has expressed his sadness at the news.
"It is with enormous sadness that I acknowledge that these soldiers have paid the highest price,” he says. “My thoughts are with the family and friends of the two brave soldiers killed and also with the families and friends of those injured."
Mr Key says the deaths reinforce the daily danger New Zealand forces face in Afghanistan.
The Defence Force is currently contacting next of kin and will not release the names of the soldiers for 24 hours - allowing time for the families to grieve.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones has offered his condolences to those in the attack.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss and, on behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of the personnel involved,” he said in a statement.
The death toll of New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan is now seven.
A media conference will be held at midday at Whenuapai Air Force Base in Auckland.
Team carried out frequent patrols
The two dead and six wounded New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan were part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, established in 2002 to help maintain security and assist development in the Bamyan province.
The New Zealand Defence Force says as part of that job, they conduct frequent patrols throughout the province.
The team numbering about 140, comprises army, navy and air force personnel.
They also promote reconstruction and assess civil, political and military reform efforts.
The Defence Force says they have helped with the distribution of emergency humanitarian assistance, particularly during the harsh winter months.
The team is based outside the town of Bamian, about 200km northwest of the capital Kabul.
The NZDF team first took over command of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan (about 200km northwest of Kabul) in September 2003.
The Defence Force says previous contingents have provided a reassuring security presence, especially during the presidential elections in October 2004 and resulting in a particularly high voter turnout.
NZ Defence Force deaths in Afghanistan
The Government announced in May that New Zealand's mission in Afghanistan would end one year earlier than planned, in late 2013.
Watch the video for the Prime Minister’s speech from this afternoon.
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6/08/2012 8:10:04 p.m.
It is not the Afghan's we are there to fight. It is the Taliban and any other faction that oppresses the Afghan's. Shows how much you actually know about the war over there, so maybe read a book before you comment... RIP brave soldiers, you died in the name of honour and freedom and the majority of kiwis salute you. Stand down men and let the brothers bring you home. onward.
6/08/2012 1:03:03 a.m.
All Respect to you men and woman serving, your all heroes of New Zealand.
Condolences to the families & friends of the ones that have been lost. Guys keep your heads up, all loss of life is tragic and the whole of NZ feels this one. I believe in the work you guys are doing and will always be grateful to you for your courage and bravery throughout your piece-keeping in Afghanistan. It may not be our country but it is a country none the less and you have helped them and saved countless lives in the process.
Come home safe to us dad, we all miss you.
5/08/2012 9:27:08 p.m.
Wake up the reason we arent allowed into the military side of Hawaii is purely because we wont let the US Neuclear ships in NZ waters. The personnel on those ships are stoked they are berthed in the civilian part, they arent complaining why should you
5/08/2012 6:42:48 p.m.
Kiwi soldiers died for a United States cause over 100 yrs of support, And USA in return blocks NZ frigates in Hawaii?
lets wake the F up and stop supporting a nation of corrupt bankers, a nation that sells people out like slaves a nation that steals ?million $ from it people.
USA debt is the reason for WAR, however its far to late! 15 Trillon ...lol...more like 50 Trillion in debt!
Reaseach 'Dr Steve Keen' Debt owns us
5/08/2012 5:58:38 p.m.
Charlie Roo wrote:
Condolences to our Kiwi friends for their fallen soldiers. RIP
5/08/2012 5:25:14 p.m.
Thoughts are with the families of the 2 new zealand brave soldiers,highest price to pay while serving for our country.
5/08/2012 5:12:32 p.m.
Home now wrote:
Bring our military home! We are not war fighters!
5/08/2012 4:18:45 p.m.
2/1st RNZIR wrote:
@Sharleen.The NZDF are not there to fight the Americans war.We are there to rebuild the province and train afghan police units.We are achieving what the Americans are not.And thats earning the hearts and minds of afghan civilians.War take lives,Its the side of war a small nation like us hates to see,But it happens.My condolences to the soldiers Families and i wish the wounded a quick recovery.
5/08/2012 3:33:55 p.m.
5/08/2012 3:12:38 p.m.
Is the situation in Afghanistan actually going anywhere? It seems like the people there have done what they always do to invaders. Fight furiously and wear their enemies down until he has had enough, gives up and leaves. It would seem the American plan now is to say, "screw it, we've had enough and are pulling out regardless of whether or not we've achieved our goals". I have to give it to the Afghan people, they are resilient and tough.
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