The NZ Defence Force has announced:
The New Zealand Defence Force can confirm that two personnel serving with the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan have been killed during an incident in the North East of Bamyan Province.
At approximately 1900hrs (NZ time) yesterday, NZ Defence Force personnel came to the assistance of local security forces who encountered suspected insurgents near a village south of Do Abe, in the North East.
A further six NZ Defence Force personnel were wounded during the incident, and they were evacuated to a military hospital.
Two local security personnel were also killed, and a further 11 personnel, including one civilian, were wounded.
The Defence Force is in the process of informing and supporting next of kin. The Defence Force will not release the name of the personnel for 24 hours to give the families time and space to grieve.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said, “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.”
It sounds like a very nasty attack, with a total of 4 dead, and 17 wounded. Six kiwis wounded and two dead is, off memory, the largest number of causalities since maybe Vietnam? Anyone know?
As always thoughts are with the family, colleagues and friends of those killed and wounded.
Some have tried to suggest that the PRT presence in Afghanistan is just about building things, and that they are not there as soldiers. This is a sad reminder of how untrue that is.