Asia-Pacific

First New Zealand soldier dies in Afghanistan

US, Afghan and New Zealand soldiers in Khost province
Image caption New Zealand has 140 personnel carrying out reconstruction work in Bamiyan

New Zealand has suffered its first combat fatality in Afghanistan since its small military force deployed there in 2003.

One soldier was killed and two others seriously wounded when militants ambushed their three-vehicle patrol in Bamiyan province.

The soldiers were members of the New Zealand military reconstruction team.

The dead soldier was the first New Zealand serviceman to be killed in fighting anywhere in 10 years.

Prime Minister John Key said the death "reinforces the danger faced daily by our forces as they work tirelessly to restore stability to the province".

New Zealand has 140 personnel carrying out reconstruction work in Bamiyan, and 70 elite special forces soldiers are believed to be deployed in Kabul.