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'Tragic day' for NZ Defence Force
 Part of channel(s): Afghanistan (current event)

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says it is a sad day for the
defence force after the death of two New Zealand soldiers and
wounding of six others in Afghanistan.
At approximately 7pm last night, the New Zealand Defence Force
(NZDF) came to the assistance of local security forces who were
attacked by insurgents near a village south of Do Abe, in the north
east of Bamiyan Province.
Two soldiers from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) were
killed and another six were wounded, three with serious
Coleman said it was a tragic day for the NZDF, who are a very
close-knit family.
"This is going to be felt very heavily across the NZDF," he said
at a press conference at the Defence Force base
at Whenuapai.
"This is a time when people across the the NZDF will pull
Prime Minister John Key expressed sadness over the deaths,
saying the soldiers had paid the "highest price".
"My thoughts are with the family and friends of the two brave
soldiers killed and also with the families and friends of those
New Zealand Governor General Sir Gerry Mateparae also offered
his condolences, saying serving in war-torn countries carried
significant risk.
The identities of the two killed will not be released for 24
hours to give families time and space to grieve.
Their bodies will return to New Zealand later this week.

Attacked by insurgents

The attack occurred yesterday morning in Do Abe, around 7pm New
Zealand time, after an Afghan police unit moved to arrest an
insurgent in the area, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General
Rhys Jones said."They were ambushed by insurgents and had two killed and seven
injured."They requested the help of our PRT to help stabilise the
situation and help evacuate out the dead and wounded people," Jones
said.The PRT sent patrols into the region, who assisted in putting
suppressive fire down on where the insurgents remained in
buildings."Our patrols then moved to secure the area around it, and that's
when we came under fire by a separate group of insurgents."Jones said the fatalities occurred within two to three minutes
of fire.
Number of NZ soldiers killed

The announcement today brings the total number of New Zealand
soldier fatalities in Afghanistan to seven.The first, Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell, was killed in August 2010
after an ambush in Bamiyan.Three soldiers died last year, including Private Kirifi Mila of
the PRT and SAS soldiers Corporal Doug Grant and Lance Corporal
Leon Smith.And PRT Corporal Doug Hughes died in an incident in April this
year.Key said each and every one of these soldiers left behind a
family."I'd like to reassure their families that they will always be
remembered by all New Zealanders for the sacrifice they have made
to restore stability to the region."The deaths also reinforced the danger faced daily by New Zealand
forces working "tirelessly" to restore stability to the province,
Key said.The PRT has been in the Bamiyan Province for nine years. Earlier
this year it was announced the team would be withdrawn from
Afghanistan before the end of 2013.


Added: Aug-5-2012 Occurred On: Aug-5-2012
By: WellingtonianNZ
Tags: new zealand, nz, soldier, provincial, reconstruction, team, prt, afganistan, firefight, killed, wounded, bamiyan, nzdf, afgan, police, unit, august, 2012
Location: Bamiyan, Afghanistan (load item map)
Views: 3809 | Comments: 26 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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