Kiwi TV crew and soldiers in Afghan blast

19:46, Jul 05 2010
MEDIA CREW: ONE News reporter Michael Parkin and cameraman Blair Martin.
MEDIA CREW: ONE News reporter Michael Parkin and cameraman Blair Martin.

New Zealand Defence Force members and a TVNZ news crew in Afghanistan have been involved in an explosion while on a roadside bomb disposal patrol.

The Defence Force personnel, accompanied by ONE News reporter Michael Parkin and cameraman Blair Martin, were on a routine operation when the incident took place.

The explosion is understood to have occurred when a team from the New Zealand army discovered three improvised explosive devices on a road outside the town of Khost, near the border of Pakistan.

Two of them were successfully detonated but a third exploded and damaged a robotic unit being used to disable the bombs.

Later when the patrol were returning to the army base in Khost, they encountered sporadic small-arms and mortar fire.

TVNZ spokeswoman Andi Brotherston said Mr Parkin and Mr Martin were in Afghanistan as part of an assignment covering the work of New Zealand soldiers in the area.

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"TVNZ was advised of the incident this morning and expect to hear from Michael and Blair when they land in Kandahar this morning", she said.  

No New Zealand army personnel or the TVNZ crew were injured in either the explosion or the gunfire.

A New Zealand Defence Force source described the attack as "sporadic and ineffective".

It is understood there was one New Zealand  bomb disposal specialist on the patrol.  

The TVNZ team are now travelling to Bagram before flying to Kandahar on the next stage of their journey.

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