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One afternoon in April, an Isis terrorist on foot detonated a suicide vest outside the Ministry of Defence in Kabul, killing five people - just one of many attacks which saw at least 600 people killed or wounded during the time we were in the country. In the mornings, Karzai enjoys walking through them, clearing his head, chatting to companions, watching his young daughters play on their scooters, even managing to forget for a moment the threats the nearby presidential guards grasping automatic weapons are protecting him from. Rory had shown an entrepreneurial streak from an early age. He later said he wanted to keep an accurate record of his thoughts, his memories, his actions and decisions, and what was going on. A total of 1,662 civilians die between January 1 and June 30, including an estimated 174 women and 436 children. With Corporal D suffering serious arterial bleeding, Apiata realises his only hope is to get his wounded mate to the rest of the patrol.

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The Valley

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Two belong to sons of the village, members of the Afghan security forces killed by insurgents in a battle which also claimed Kiwi lives. A third New Zealand patrol arrived and waited just to the south. Mapp admits that one of the lessons was getting the right people doing the right job. Proudly she shows us her wedding photos, in which she is unrecognisable; the bride is permitted to bare her hair, and her makeup transforms her. Bandits on the road out of the capital are known to kidnap foreigners and sell them over to Taliban or Haqqani insurgents. For example, if they lost land, or they had to come to the centre of Bamyan to get some kind of legal dispute solved, often they weren't able to get treated fairly, and so that's the buildup of frustration. The story of a war about which, it would seem, the Government would prefer that we were silent.

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New Zealand Travel ~ New Zealand Tourism ~ NZ Information

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Hints at what life was like for Rory in Afghanistan can be gleaned from emails home. One, as Mapp indicates, was to help in the fight against terrorism. Such is the ritual of welcomes in Afghanistan. I went in front of the loader to not put down the asphalt. Lance Corporal Rory Malone and Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer were fatally wounded and six other New Zealanders were injured. Goff declined to be interviewed for this project. A veteran of 36 years in the forces, in his spare time he likes war gaming and reading military history.

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The demise of the Taliban in 2001 pleased the Hazara people greatly. The goal was set to have security in Bamyan formally handed over to the Afghan National Police by September 2011, and for New Zealand to leave behind only a residual military presence. They make alliances to make sure they are on the winning side. Two of those injuries were from friendly fire as the patrol that had been waiting to the south advanced into the battleground and fired up towards those dismounted patrols. Figuring out how to deal with it quite another. By September 27, America has what it asked for. But locals say the project was doomed before it began.

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New Zealand Travel ~ New Zealand Tourism ~ NZ Information

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To new, Western visitors, the imbalance in the visible population is odd and confronting. You can see too, in his own writing, his sense of duty and what it meant for him. What cost the 10 lives lost in the process? But eight years on, the country remained fragile, at best. Health was even less - five per cent. She dashed for cover and, somehow, they all survived. He co-founded a project management and consultancy company and returned to Afghanistan for the first of many extended trips there overseeing development projects. The Afghans called for back-up from the New Zealanders.


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NZ News

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In any war, there are people who support the Government, those who oppose it, and a vast group in the middle. Politicians of all hues loved it. Homes, villages and even its heritage sites - most famously the famous giant Buddha statues overlooking the town - were bombed, torn down or burned. Insurgents can strike anyone, anywhere. His charismatic nature - and, no doubt, his rank - causes the security guard to stop in his tracks. In recent days the Government has been juggling what to do about Air New Zealand, which is on the brink of collapse, as well as preparing for the arrival of 150 Afghan refugees rescued from a sinking people-smuggling boat by the Norwegian freighter Tampa.

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A decade later, the families of 10 soldiers who died on Afghan soil would be forgiven for looking back on that as an understatement. Rhys Jones, the boy who liked playing in vehicles who rose to be Chief of Defence Force, says despite the deterioration of Afghanistan, New Zealand played its part to make a difference. But even the best of intentions sometimes have a way of going horribly off track. Ministers agreed to the Defence Force keeping up to 122 personnel in the country until September 2009. But Wilson himself told the court he shot first and then called ceasefire, although he now believes that could be a false memory.

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So the question was: to what extent was the war about the objectives of the coalition rather than the Afghan people? Many locals are enjoying power for the first time - shop owners can finally run fridges and lights - although the price remains prohibitive for many households and businesses. Thirty-seven per cent went to sustainable economic development, 22 per cent to humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, and 21 per cent to governance and justice. Do Abe is kind of like the wild west must have been. The story of a war in which heroes were made. The story of a war in which the Government carefully controlled the narrative. In one corner are the broken remains of a building destroyed by the Taliban, and at the front of the entrance are cannons seized from the British during their ultimately unsuccessful push into Afghanistan during the 19th Century. One of the electrical impulses just stopped.

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New Zealand Travel ~ New Zealand Tourism ~ NZ Information

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After nine years, Bamyan province had become less welcoming of the Kiwi soldiers. As he hangs up, his phone rings. All we can do is wonder what horror leaves her so desperate she must endanger not only herself but her tiny children. But by 2013, when New Zealand left, Jones and other senior New Zealand officials were convinced the sentiments that had been there at the start had vanished. The photographs are normal, everyday life and scenery; and they are captivatingly beautiful.

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The Valley

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We take a closer look at two significant firefights which raise crucial questions: Why were we there? He was very well respected by his subordinates and peers, with a very sure moral compass. Materials were either diverted to other uses or the project was never carried out at all. Any mistakes or no mistakes at all here meant death. The words used were insulting and humiliating, highly offensive to village elders and women, the villagers say. As heavy fire from automatic weapons pour in, a dazed Apiata realises one of the vehicles has been destroyed and two crew members from his vehicle have been injured. He pauses, and answers the question before posing another. For the next few hours, it never stops as officials and senior Cabinet ministers begin to take stock of the magnitude of what is unfolding.

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