20 April 2011
On 22 August 2010 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) elements, operating as part of a Coalition Force in Bamyan province, Afghanistan conducted an operation against an insurgent group.
NZDF Special Operations Forces combined with Afghan National Security Forces and other coalition elements undertook the operation.
The operation was conducted as part of the wider ISAF mission to improve the security of the Afghan people and to protect the NZ PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) in Bamyan province. The operation was approved by both the Afghan Government and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Nine insurgents (not 12 as reported) were killed in the operation which targeted an insurgent group in the area where Bamyan Province borders neighbouring Baghlan province.
Following the operation allegations of civilian casualties were made. These were investigated by a joint Afghan Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and International Security Assistance Force assessment team, in accordance with ISAF procedures.
The investigation concluded that the allegations of civilian casualties were unfounded.
Ordinarily the NZDF declines to comment on matters of an operational nature as any release of information can put New Zealanders at risk. In this case, clarification of the facts is warranted.
The NZDF will be making no further comment on this operation.
The NZDF point of contact for this release is Commander Phil Bradshaw, Director Defence Communications Group 021 441 493.