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NZ soldier deaths 'unlikely to be last' - Stephenson

Wednesday 8 Aug 2012 5:41 p.m.

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By 3 News online staff

The deaths of two New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan at the weekend are not unexpected, according to war correspondent Jon Stephenson.

As violence in the Bamiyan Province escalates, Mr Stephenson says reconstruction efforts in the Middle East are not worth another Kiwi life.

The investigative journalist, who has extensive experience reporting on conflicts in the region, says Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone are unlikely to be the last New Zealand soldiers to die in Afghanistan.

Both men were members of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, on their first tour of Afghanistan. The two were killed and six others injured during an insurgent attack in a small village in Bamyan Province.

“The violence can't be put down to the lack of reconstruction but the growing insurgency in neighbouring provinces," says Mr Stephenson.

"It definitely highlights how poor security is."

Mr Stephenson asks, "what are these soldiers dying for and is it worth another New Zealand life?".

He says Bamiyon's reconstruction has been severely under-resourced and is still incomplete.

“They lack regular electricity supply, good roads and there is still no airport there.

“New Zealand troops can only do what they are resourced and they are soldiers not aide workers."

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