Christchurch Press journalist Alex Van Wel (centre) is seen with New Zealand troops in Bamyan province, Afghanistan, in 2009. In 2011 New Zealand had two units in Afghanistan, the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan province and a Special Air Service (SAS) unit in Kabul. Public reaction to the Afghan commitment was mixed. The award of the Victoria Cross in 2004 to SAS Corporal Willie Apiata for bravery under fire was generally greeted with approval. On the other hand, questions were raised in 2011 over allegations that SAS troops had handed prisoners over to US and Afghan forces with a record of torturing prisoners of war.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
New Zealand Defence Force
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