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Two NZ soldiers wounded in Afghanistan

Touristclick Afghanistan Travel News

Two NZ soldiers wounded in Afghanistan


The accident happened during a routine patrol between Bagram Air Force Base and Kabul.

The pair was in a group of four servicemen returning from escorting a contingent of foreign nationals.

New Zealand joint forces commander Major General Rhys Jones said a soldier's Steyr rifle accidentally discharged, injuring his leg and another serviceman's arm

They were taken to Bagram Air Force Base Medical Centre where they will be assessed and treated before being transferred to Germany.

Both men have had surgery but none of the injuries are considered life threatening.

"It is not embarrassing, it is unavoidable in the military," Maj Jones said. "Hostile action only accounts for a small proportion of injuries. There is always the possibility that these accidents happen."

The two soldiers had been in a Humvee vehicle, returning from Kabul to their base in Bamyan.
It is not known how many rounds were fired inside the armoured vehicle but it's understood the same round caused both injuries.

The Steyr rifle is standard issue to the New Zealand military and fires a 5.56mm, high velocity round.

Both soldiers - who had been in Afghanistan for only a week - had been able to talk to their relatives in New Zealand.

Major Zac Prendergast said the Humvee vehicle was fitted with armour plating and the New Zealand soldiers were trained in its use.

In 2005, an army major was tried by court martial for the unauthorised discharge of a weapon in Afghanistan in September, 2005.

There are 107 New Zealand Defence Force personnel involved in the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan.

The Kiwis are located in Bamyan Province and their role includes reconstruction projects, security patrols, training of Afghan National Police, explosive ordnance disposal and providing humanitarian aid and assistance.

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