4 August 2010
STATEMENT FROM CHIEF OF DEFENCE FORCE
Overnight, at approximately 12.30 pm New Zealand time, an incident involving a New Zealand Defence Force patrol took place in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan.
I am able to advise that three New Zealand vehicles which made up the patrol came under a complex attack from as yet unknown assailants.
We believe that an improvised explosive device or IED was detonated, and then the patrol came under fire from two positions with Rocket Propelled Grenades / RPG, and other small arms fire.
As a result I can confirm that a member of the Provincial Reconstruction Team patrol has been killed.
On behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force we extend our sincere condolences to the family of this brave New Zealander.
I can further confirm that two other members of the patrol sustained serious injury. However, these injuries are not considered to be life threatening.
Back here in New Zealand, I can tell you that we are in the process of informing and supporting the families of those killed and injured.
I will not be sharing the names of the deceased and injured at this time, we will be giving the families some time to come to terms with events.
We have begun the process of working out how we will repatriate the deceased and wounded soldiers back to New Zealand as expeditiously as we can.
The events of last night are clearly complex, and the Defence Force is still gathering facts about what happened.
It is my intention to provide media more information, most likely later this morning, when we better understand the situation.
Contact: Chris Wright 021 487 980