Asia-Pacific

NZ soldier killed in Kabul attack on UK compound named

Douglas Grant, in an undated image released by the New Zealand Defence Force
Image caption Corporal Douglas Grant had spent 21 years in New Zealand's military and served multiple tours

A New Zealand soldier killed in a Taliban attack on a British compound in Kabul has been named as Corporal Douglas Grant.

Cpl Grant, 41, died when gunmen stormed the British Council office in the Afghan capital on Friday, killing at least 12 people.

Officials said he was shot via a gap in his body armour under his armpit.

The father-of-two had spent 21 years in the military, serving in East Timor and the former Yugoslavia.

This was his second tour in Afghanistan.

Cpl Grant is the first member of New Zealand's special forces, the Special Air Service, to die in Afghanistan and the country's third fatality there.

He was one of 35 New Zealand SAS troops based in the Afghan capital to mentor the local crisis response unit.

He was one of a team of soldiers who responded when suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the British Council compound on Friday.

At least eight Afghan policemen and three Afghan security guards from a UK-based private security firm which provides protection for the compound were killed in the firefight.

Several other people were injured in the attack, which coincided with the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from the UK in 1919.

Cpl Grant, from Linton on the North Island, was married with two young children.

In a statement, his family said that he had had "absolute faith" in his work in Afghanistan.

"He understood what he was getting into and believed in the goal of training local forces for that country's future," the statement said.

Prime Minister John Key has visited Cpl Grant's family and is expected to attend his funeral in the coming days.

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