27 Aug 2011

Delay blamed on police chief in Kabul

6:59 am on 27 August 2011

A police chief in the Afghan capital, Kabul, is accused of causing a four hour delay in an operation where a New Zealand SAS soldier was killed last Friday.

Jon Boone, the Guardian's Kabul correspondent told Morning Report, the Afghan Crisis Response Unit was assembled within 1½ hours at the British Council compound in western Kabul.

Mr Boone says their chief says they were sent back to base by the local police chief, forcing a significant delay in the operation to rescue three British Council workers penned in by suicide bombers in the compound.

SAS Corporal Doug Grant was killed during the fighting.

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says there is no information to support the reports, but Defence has asked for confirmation and a report from Afghanistan.