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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Two New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan, six wounded

WELLINGTON | Sat Aug 4, 2012 8:20pm EDT

(Reuters) - Two New Zealand soldiers were killed and six others were injured in Afghanistan's Bamyan province on Saturday when they came under fire assisting local security forces that were fighting suspected insurgents, the New Zealand Defence Force said.

"The NZDF was responding to local security forces coming under attack and it developed into a serious incident," Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said in a statement on Sunday.

The New Zealand troops arrived to assist the local security forces who encountered suspected insurgents near a village south of Do Abe, in the North East of Bamyan Province, the NZDF said.

It added that a further six personnel were wounded during the incident, and they were evacuated to a military hospital.

Two local security personnel were also killed, it said.

New Zealand, which has a 140-strong reconstruction team operating in the province, will formally end its mission at the end of the year and be brought home in 2013. The country has had troops in Afghanistan since 2001.

Five New Zealand soldiers have been killed earlier while serving in Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Mantik Kusjanto; Editing by Philip Barbara)

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