Soldier killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan was a Kiwi
UPDATED - The family of the New Zealand soldier Private Jack Howard who was killed in Afghanistan will hold a press conference in Wellington this afternoon.
MORE TO COME
UPDATED- Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has expressed the government’s deepest condolences to the family of the New Zealander killed in Afghanistan while serving in the British Army.
“It takes great courage to serve in Afghanistan. Every service person, whether in the New Zealand Defence Force or a similar service such as the British, knows they risk death or injury.
“They do so because they wish to serve their country and to protect us from terrorism.”
The New Zealand Defence Force is doing everything it can to assist the family and that will continue as long as necessary, he said.
“This New Zealander has made the supreme sacrifice for the freedom of people everywhere. We mourn his loss and will do everything we can to support his family in the painful days and weeks ahead.”
A New Zealander serving in the British Army in Afghanistan is thought to have been killed by friendly fire from an American aircraft.
The soldier hasn't been named yet - next of kin have been told and asked for a period of grace before details are made public. NBR understands some media reports of the soldier's name contain incorrect details. NBR understands the dead soldier's name is Jackson but it is not clear whether that is a first or last name.
The soldier died after being shot while on patrol in the Nad ‘Ali district in the Helmand province, according to a statement by the British Military.
“The incident will be the subject of a full investigation; however first reports indicate that an attack on an insurgent position by a US aircraft, requested by and agreed with British forces on the ground, may have been the cause,” a spokesperson said.
“The investigation is ongoing and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
The soldier is the fifth New Zealand-born soldier to die in Afghanistan and the 346th member of the British military to die in that country since the war began.