21 Aug 2011

PM visits widow of SAS soldier killed in Afghanistan

9:55 pm on 21 August 2011

Prime Minister John Key has visited the widow of the SAS soldier killed in Afghanistan.

The New Zealander was fatally shot in the chest while he and 15 colleagues were taking part in a rescue bid on a British cultural centre in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Heavily armed attackers entered the British Council compound, trapping staff members and their guards. The SAS troops were sent in to rescue them.

Mr Key, who visited the man's widow on Saturday, said the couple has a young family. He described the situtation as tragic.

The soldier had only recently arrived in Afghanistan though this was not his first deployment to the country.

Mr Key said the man was a long-standing member of the SAS and loved his job.

It could take up to a week for the soldier's body to be returned to New Zealand. He may be flown via another nation to Hawaii and brought home from there by the New Zealand Defence Force.

His name is expected to be released on Monday.