Christchurch Press journalist Alex Van Wel (centre) with New Zealand troops in Bamyan province, Afghanistan, in 2009. 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. However, it was alleged that SAS troops had handed prisoners over to US and Afghan forces with a record of torturing prisoners of war, and that a Bamyan firing range used by New Zealand personnel was not cleared of unexploded ordnance before the mission ended in 2013.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
New Zealand Defence Force
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