Grieving soldiers safe after airbase attack

14:13, Aug 21 2012

New Zealand Defence Force personnel who tonight farewelled three Kiwi soldiers killed in combat were "safe and well" after Bagram airbase came under attack.

A Defence spokeswoman confirmed the rocket attack but said it had not delayed the flight bringing home the bodies of Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris back to New Zealand.

New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) members attended a military ramp ceremony at the airbase last night but the spokeswoman said they were safe and well.

Overseas news agencies reported that a rocket was fired on the US airbase and damaged the aircraft of America's top military officer and wounded two maintenance crew.

Two American maintenance crew suffered minor injuries.

The attack is understood to have happened in a different part of the airbase.

A Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules, with escorts from the PRT left last night for Australia with the bodies of the New Zealand soldiers on board.

Their bodies are expected to make the final leg of the journey on Thursday and a service will be held either Saturday or early next week.


Fairfax Media