The New Zealand Defense Force has released a video showing hundreds of its troops, performing a traditional Maori funeral Haka in tribute to their five fallen colleagues who died in Afghanistan.
Digital Journal reported earlier in August on the deaths of two New Zealand soldiers, with six others wounded, in a volatile area north east of Bamiyan Province of Afghanistan. These soldiers were members of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team.
It seems a further three members of the New Zealand military have also been killed. While the first two soldiers who died took the insurgents by surprise, the latest three appear to have been targeted directly.
Meanwhile the Taliban are threatening to attack more New Zealand troops, with a Taliban spokesperson saying New Zealanders are being targeted in Afghanistan and that there is no safety for them there. The spokesman said that if they are found by the Taliban, they will be killed.
New Zealand's Prime MInister, John Key, has dismissed these threats as propaganda.
Key said, "We can't confirm that they are genuine. There's a degree of propaganda from what we can see about them.
"We are in a war zone in Afghanistan, and ... you can rest assured that the military via the Chief of Defence Force are doing everything they possibly can within the context of that environment to try and make sure our people are as safe as possible."
However, Key did announce last week that New Zealand will be withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan earlier than planned in 2013.
In the video above, members of the defense force perform the traditional Maori funeral Haka as a farewell to their lost comrades.