N Zealand SAS in deadly Afghan raid obeyed rules: Military

New Zealand Special Forces involved in a Kabul office raid in which two Afghan security guards died acted in self-defence and followed proper protocols, the defence force said .

Wellington: New Zealand Special Forces
involved in a Kabul office raid in which two Afghan security
guards died acted in self-defence and followed proper
protocols, the defence force said on Wednesday.

Afghanistan`s government has accused international forces
of going beyond their mandate in storming the building on
December 24 after intelligence reports linked it to a plot to
attack the United States embassy.

The NZ defence force (NZDF) confirmed New Zealand Special
Air Service (SAS) troops took part in the operation, which the
Afghan interior ministry described as "a heart-rending and
tragic incident".

All 15 people captured in the raid were released that
night on the intervention of an Afghan commander.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) organised the operation after receiving "advice of a
credible threat to attack the US embassy", the NZDF said in a
statement.

"Intelligence reports indicated there were two vehicles
parked there that were thought to be loaded with explosives,"
it said.

It said the SAS troops identified themselves in Pashto
and English when they approached the building but came under
small-arms fire from security guards.

"The patrol was forced to act in self defence, killing
two of the guards," it said.

The soldiers captured 15 people, including two who were
injured and received treatment from a medic, the NZDF said.

It said an Afghan National Security Forces commander
subsequently arrived and took command of the scene, personally
vouching for the captives, who were released.

The NZDF said "a large number of weapons", including
small arms, were found but did not list explosives among the
items captured.

"ISAF has confirmed that proper protocols and rules of
engagement were correctly followed," it said.

"Afghan authorities and ISAF are conducting an
investigation. The NZDF will be closely following its
progress."

PTI

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