senior Taliban leader thought to be behind a roadside bombing
in which three New Zealand soldiers died has reportedly been
killed by coalition forces.
Prime Minister John Key today confirmed Abdullah Kalta died
in the Afghanistan airstrike.
New Zealand soldiers Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, Private
Richard Harris and Corporal Luke Tamatea were killed in
August when their Humvee struck an improvised explosive
New Zealand personnel were not involved in the attack on
Kalta but coalition forces could have used intelligence
gathered by New Zealand SAS troops, Mr Key said on TVNZ's
"We weren't physically involved but it was almost certainly
intelligence that New Zealand people have been gathering over
"It was in the northeastern part of Bamiyan province. If that
is the case, and that seems to be the information we have,
then I think that's good news if it makes Afghanistan a safer
place for our people."
Mr Key said the attack on Kalta happened last week and he did
not know if the families of the dead soldiers had been told
He said the main aim was to make the environment safe and it
was understood further attacks on the Taliban were planned.
"We're in a war zone and ultimately we need to make sure that
our men and women are best protected as we can and that means
using intelligence and if required making sure that those who
are undertaking those attacks aren't in a position to do so."