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article imageTwo New Zealand soldiers die in Afghanistan; six wounded

By Larry Clifton     Aug 4, 2012 in World
Two soldiers of New Zealand’s Defense Force were killed in Afghanistan; six more were injured in a volatile area north east of Bamiyan Province.
The New Zealand Defense Force, in a report, said the soldiers were members of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team and the wounded were evacuated to a military hospital.
Two Afghanistan security personnel were also killed in the incident and 11 others were injured, including one civilian, according to a report by the New Zealand Herald.
According to the Herald, the attack occurred about 7 p.m. yesterday (NZ time) while the troops were assisting local police that engaged suspected insurgents near a village south of Do Abe.
The Herald quoted Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones who 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."
To date, seven New Zealand soldiers have died in Afghanistan since the country first deployed troops, according to Prime Minister John Key.
"It reinforces the danger faced daily by our forces as they work tirelessly to restore stability to the province,” he said.
"It is with enormous sadness that I acknowledge that these soldiers have paid the highest price. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the two brave soldiers killed and also with the families and friends of those injured."
According to the Herald, the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team is into its nineteenth Afghanistan rotation; the unit deployed in October 2011.
The Government has announced that New Zealand's commitment to the country will be in place until about 2014.
Labour Party leader David Shearer, who previously worked for the United Nations in Afghanistan, said the area the two soldiers were killed was one of the most volatile in Bamiyan Province.
"We are very, very saddened to hear of the loss of two lives. Our first thoughts go out to the families of those that were killed and wounded."
Shearer stated the incident would not cause him to reconsider the decision to keep New Zealand troops in the country.
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