improvised explosive device

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Photo: Bryan Adams Rifleman Craig Wood injured in Afghanistan, aged 18.

Photo: Bryan Adams
Rifleman Craig Wood injured in Afghanistan, aged 18.

Wounded: The Legacy of War

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Three Heroes

The NZ Herald reports the full details of the three Kiwi troops killed in Afghanistan:

The names of the New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan overnight have been released during a press conference this morning at the Beehive.

The trio have been named as Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker (26),Private Richard Harris (21) and Corporal Luke Tamatea (31).

They deployed with the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan, Afghanistan in April 2012. All three were from 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/1 RNZIR) based in Burnham.

The group were travelling in the last vehicle in a convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in Bamiyan about 9.20pm local time.

Corporal Tamatea joined the army in February 2000. He had previously been deployed to Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands and Sumatra.

His first deployment to Afghanistan was in 2007.

Lance Corporal Baker joined the army as a medic and was posted to Burnham Regional Support Company in April 2007.

She received a Chief of Army Commendation in 2011 for professionalism and courage in June 2008.

She is the first female New Zealand soldier to be killed in action since troops were sent to the country, and the first woman to be in killed in conflict since nurse Lesley Estelle Cowper of the New Zealand Surgical Team was killed in Vietnam in 1966.

Private Harris joined the NZ Army in February 2009. He had previously deployed to Timor-Leste in 2009/2010.

Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said the deaths were difficult to deal with so close to the loss of two other soldiers.