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New Zealand suffers its first combat fatality in Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • One soldier killed, 2 others wounded
  • Attack happens in Bamiyan province
  • Fatality leaves New Zealand with 207 personnel in Afghanistan
  • New Zealand forces have been in Afghanistan for 7 years

(CNN) -- New Zealand has suffered its first combat fatality in the war in Afghanistan, the New Zealand Defense Force reported Tuesday.

The incident occurred shortly after noon Tuesday in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province, when a Provincial Reconstruction Team patrol of three New Zealand vehicles was attacked by unknown assailants, said the defense force chief in a statement.

"We believe that an improvised explosive device or IED was detonated, and then the patrol came under fire from two positions with rocket propelled grenades and other small arms fire," he said.

In addition to the fatality, two other members of the patrol suffered serious, but not life-threatening, wounds, he said.

The fatality leaves New Zealand with 207 personnel in Afghanistan. New Zealand has had forces in the country for seven years.