6 August 2012
The New Zealand Defence Force has named the two soldiers killed during an incident in the North East of Bamyan Province, Afghanistan on Saturday 4 August.
They are Lance Corporal (LCPL) Rory Patrick Malone, aged 26, and Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer, also aged 26.
LCPL Malone and LCPL Durrer deployed with the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan, Afghanistan in April 2012. It was their first deployment to Afghanistan.
LCPL Malone joined the Army Reserve Force in November 2002 and transferred to the Regular Force as a Rifleman in September 2005 and was posted to 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR), based in Burnham. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in July 2011. LCPL Malone had previously deployed to Timor-Leste in 2006 and again in 2007.
LCPL Durrer joined the NZ Army in June 2004 as a Rifleman and was posted to 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR). In September 2009 LCPL Durrer trade changed to Crewman, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps (RNZAC) and was posted to Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles (QAMR), now based in Linton. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in September 2010. LCPL Durrer had previously deployed to Timor-Leste in 2006/7.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says, "Everyone in the Defence Force are deeply saddened by this loss. On behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I again extend my deepest sympathies."
Lieutenant General Jones says the NZ Defence Force was working to return the fallen soldiers to their families as quickly as possible and was receiving great support from Coalition partners in making this happen.
Updating the status of the six NZ Defence Force personnel who were wounded during the incident, Lieutenant General Jones says all remain in a stable condition. Five of the wounded will be transferring today to a military hospital in Germany. The sixth wounded person will also likely travel to Germany when his condition allows.
Lieutenant General Jones says the NZ Defence Force remains committed to ensuring a smooth and measured handover of responsibility to Afghan authorities.
"As Chief of Defence Force, I remain proud of the work we do there. The families of all those who have lost their lives in Afghanistan need not ask, ‘why?’ for in Bamyan the answer to that question lies in the classrooms built; the wells and village water supplies hooked up; the roads that have been paved; the bridges and flood protection constructed; in the hospitals refurbished.
"It lies in the lives that have improved; in people participating in the life of their communities and country – voting at elections; in girls and women being able to gain an education.
"It is under the umbrella of security that the Provincial Reconstruction Team provides, that these gains have been made.
"The events over the weekend reinforce to all that ours is a dangerous profession, and while we accept these risks the death of colleagues and friends is always difficult to take.
"But New Zealand can be proud of the contribution being made, and so too the families of those who have been killed in the service of New Zealand in Afghanistan. Their sacrifice has not been in vain."
For more information please contact: Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980
The NZ Defence Force asks that the media respect the privacy of the families at this difficult time.
Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
Statement on behalf of Lance Corporal Malone’s family:
The New Zealand Defence Force is releasing this statement on behalf of the family of Lance Corporal Rory Patrick Malone, the New Zealand soldier killed in Afghanistan on 4 August 2012.
"We are very saddened by the loss of a much loved family member. Rory joined the Territorial Force on 7 November 2002 and then transferred to the Regular Force as a rifleman, RNZIR on 7 September 2005.
He served with 2/1 RNZIR for most of his career, deploying to Timor-Leste twice before his deployment to Afghanistan.
Rory’s family is extremely proud of his service to the NZ Army. Rory went to Afghanistan to do what he considered an important job which contributed to the greater good of the region. He did his job with honour and pride. Rory will be dearly missed by his family.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Rory’s partner, and the family of the other lost soldier, as well as those who were wounded in the incident.
We ask for privacy during this devastating time to deal with our grief and loss."
Statement on behalf of Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer’s family.
The New Zealand Defence Force is releasing this statement on behalf of the family of Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer, the New Zealand soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on 4 August 2012.
"Our family are going through a very difficult time after learning of Pralli’s death in Afghanistan. Support we are receiving from our wider family, friends and Pralli’s Army family has been encouraging and we are thankful that Pralli will be home with us soon.
We are all thankful for the 26 years we had with Pralli and are proud of all that he accomplished in his short time with us. He has had a rewarding career as a soldier and we know he had a positive effect on all those he worked alongside throughout his time with NZ Army.
We ask that the public and media please respect our privacy at this difficult time while we mourn the passing of our much loved nephew, grandson, son, cousin and friend.
The details of Pralli’s funeral will be released in due course and we ask that you remain patient while we organise the fitting farewell that he deserves."