5 Aug 2010

Killing of NZ soldier dominates morning papers

6:57 am on 5 August 2010

The killing of Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell in Bamyan province, Afghanistan, leads all the morning papers on Thursday. He was New Zealand's first combat death in the war there.

The New Zealand Herald says Mr O'Donnell grew up dreaming of being a soldier.

His father Mark O'Donnell gave him some advice: "I told him to be brave but I didn't want him to be dead brave, I wanted him to come home," he said.

The Dominion Post describes Lieutenant O'Donnell as a decorated soldier, a born leader and a part-time chauffeur.

He pulled strings at his Feilding High School ball and surprised his classmates by arriving in a light armoured vehicle.

The relatives of the two soldiers wounded in the attack say they are coping as well as could be expected.

The Press quotes Mr O'Donnell as saying it would be a waste of his son's life if New Zealand troops pulled out of Afghanistan now. He says Lieutenant O'Donnell died doing something he loved.

The Otago Daily Times says soldiers in Afghanistan will return to the scene of the attack to try and work out what happened. The paper quotes MPs paying tribute to Lieutenant O'Donnell.