New Zealand launches inquiry into 2010 operation in Afghanistan
New Zealand has announced it is launching an inquiry into a 2010 operation in Afghanistan involving the country’s special forces.
Attorney General, David Parker, said the year-long review would establish whether any civilians had been killed during the raids. It will also examine how the New Zealand Defence Force handled reports of civilian casualties.
The raids became a hot public issue in 2017 after two journalists published a book about the operation. They alleged six civilians were killed and more than a dozen injured.
The year-long review would also look into how the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) handled reports of civilian casualties from the raid in northern Afghanistan, according to an emailed government statement.
The raids became a hot public issue in New Zealand in 2017 after two journalists published a book about the operation, alleging six civilians were killed and more than a dozen injured.
The NZDF had said in response to the book that civilian casualties stemming from the raid were a possibility, but denied any misconduct.
The operation under scrutiny was carried out by New Zealand special forces, alongside U.S and Afghan armed forces, in Baghlan province when around 150,000 foreign troops were stationed in the country supporting Afghan security forces against the growing Taliban-led insurgency.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force investigated the incident soon after it happened and concluded that civilian casualties were possible due to the malfunction of a weapons system, according to an NZDF media briefing in 2017.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour-led government, which took the helm in October, had promised it would consider an inquiry into the allegations during its election campaign.