7 Aug 2012

Bamyan troops likely to widen patrolling area

1:00 pm on 7 August 2012

New Zealand troops stationed in the Afghanistan province of Bamyan are expected to patrol a wider area in the light of two recent attacks, one of them fatal.

Two New Zealand soldiers were killed and six wounded on Saturday in an exchange of fire with insurgents, and on Monday the New Zealanders' base was attacked.

Prime Minister John Key says the Defence Force is making some operational changes to protect soldiers, including extending the patrolling area into the neighbouring Baghlan province.

The British newspaper the Daily Telegraph's correspondent in Kabul, Ben Farmer, says that could help prevent further ambushes of New Zealand soliders.

He says soldiers would have more options for protecting themselves, as they could pursue rebels into neighbouring provinces.

Mr Farmer says the attacks came from the neighbouring Baghlan area, which is patrolled by Hungarian forces but is considered by rebels to be something of a safe haven.