By Jerram Watts
The Kiwi soldier killed in an attack on a patrol in Afghanistan overnight has this morning been named.
Lieutenant Timothy Andrew O’Donnell, 28, was killed when the Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) was attacked in Bamiyan province.
An improvised explosive device, or IED, was detonated then the patrol came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades and other small arms.
Lt O’Donnell, from Feilding, had served in the Defence Force for five years and had been honoured for his bravery during a skirmish in East Timor.
Lt O’Donnell received a Distinguished Service Decoration award in the 2008 New Year’s Honours for his services in East Timor between November 2006 and May 2007.
The NZDF this morning contacted his next of kin and are currently organising his repatriation.
Two other personnel were injured in the attack; their injuries described as “serious, but not life-threatening” by defence chief Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae this morning.
Lt O’Donnell’s is the first casualty New Zealand troops have suffered in the Afghan war.
Prime Minister John Key is in Vanuatu but in a statement offered his condolences.
“It is with enormous sadness that I acknowledge that this soldier has paid a high price and my thoughts are with his family and the families of the injured.
“This is New Zealand’s first combat loss in Afghanistan and reinforces the danger faced daily by our forces as they work tirelessly to restore stability in the province.
“This soldier’s contribution and that of all New Zealand Defence Force personnel should never be underestimated.”
source: newshub archive