New Zealand suffers first combat fatality in Afghanistan
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
WELLINGTON — New Zealand suffered its first combat fatality in Afghanistan when a soldier died in an ambush in Bamiyan province that left another two New Zealand soldiers and an Afghan interpreter wounded, an official said on Wednesday.The three wounded in the attack on Tuesday had serious injuries that were not life threatening, New Zealand Defense Force Chief Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae told reporters in Wellington.A three-vehicle New Zealand patrol had been attacked with an improvised explosive device, rocket propelled grenades and other small arms fire, Mateparae said.The name of the dead soldier has not yet been released. He was the first New Zealand serviceman killed in combat since a soldier died performing UN peace keeping duties in East Timor in 2000. New Zealand first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2003.
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