NZ troops evacuate bombed Afghan police

DANYA LEVY
Last updated 11:35 12/07/2012

Relevant offers

Middle East

Israeli teens jailed for burning Palestinian boy alive Supporting Syria conference: Germany leads aid effort with pledge of $3.6 billion Poet to get 800 lashes instead of death Australia pledges extra millions for suffering Syrians Obituary: World War II veteran John 'Jack' Knowles dies at 95 John Kerry calls for more support to help tackle Islamic State on the ground UN announces start of Syria peace talks as government troops advance Malala Yousafzai seeks US$1.4 billion in education funds for Syrian children Saudi Arabia customs keep tweeting the inventive ways smugglers try to bring alcohol into the country Dozens dead in blasts close to main Shi'ite shrine in Syrian capital Damascus

New Zealand troops have helped evacuate injured Afghan police after five officers were killed in a road side bomb attack in the Bamiyan province.

The attack occurred on Sunday night when a two-vehicle convoy of Afghan National Police (ANP) struck the improvised explosive device in the Shikari Valley in the north-east of the province.

A spokesman for Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said no New Zealand troops, who are based there as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), were caught up in the attack.

The troops rushed to the scene to secure the area and assisted the injured who were flown by helicopter to Bagram, a large United States military base north of the capital Kabul.

It is unclear how many police officers were injured.

Coleman offered his sympathies to the Provincial Governor of Bamiyan and the Police Chief for the loss of life "at a time when the ANP in Bamiyan are taking more responsibility for security in the province".

The PRT has been helping to boost the capacity of local police forces in Bamiyan by training the ANP's provincial quick reaction force.

It is due to formally conclude its work in Bamiyan at the end of this year and will be withdrawn later in 2013.

The Government has said a small number of training officers would remain to assist the Afghan National Army Officer Academy and has made a three-year commitment of $US2 million per year for the Afghan National Security Force's rule of law projects in the province.

Bamiyan is regarded as the most secure part of Afghanistan, but there has been a history of insurgents coming across the north-eastern boundary and planting bombs in the province.

It is understood there are several small insurgent groups on the other side of the Bamiyan border.

In August 2010, 28-year-old Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell was killed when his three-vehicle patrol was attacked with explosives, rocket propelled grenades and gunfire, also in the north-east of Bamiyan.

Two other soldiers, Lance Corporal Matthew Ball and Private Allister Baker, and a local interpreter, were injured.

Bamiyan was the first province to hold a transition ceremony in July 2011, marking the transfer of provincial level security and responsibility back to Afghan control.

The international news service, Afghan Voice Agency, has reported four people suspected of planting mines in Bamiyan were today arrested.

The roadside bomb comes as there was a series of attacks across Afghanistan in the past two days which killed dozens of people, including six US troops.

Ad Feedback

The US troops were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb Sunday in Wardak province, west of Kabul, the Washington Post reported.

Twenty-three civilians were also killed on Sunday in multiple blasts in the Arghistan district of southern Kandahar.

There were three separate attacks Kandahar on Monday. One attack on the police headquarters and a local market killed three police officers and six civilians.

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content