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Air strike kills Taliban leader behind deaths of three NZ soldiers

An air strike has killed the Taliban leader said to be responsible for the deaths of three New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan. 

Confirming the attack this morning, Prime Minister John Key told TV One's Breakfast programme the strike was a joint Afghan-ISAF (International Security and Assistance Force) mission.

No New Zealand personnel were involved, but the strike "almost certainly" utilised intelligence collected by the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team. He later confirmed that five or SAS staff provided support for the mission, but were not directly involved in the strike.

"So essentially New Zealand builds the picture of where these people are; it builds the case that leads to the legal support but the actual operations and the commanding of those operations are carried out by ISAF," the Prime Minister said.

Mr Key did not name the leader, whom he described as a "senior Taliban insurgent".

The NZ Defence Force later confiremed reports he was Abdullah Kalta, a Taliban leader in a district of Baghlan province who was responsible for a number of attacks in neighbouring Bamyan, where the NZ Reconstruction Team is based.

The attack took place on November 21. Four other insurgents were killed.

Lance-Corporal Jacinda Baker, Corporal Luke Tamatea and Private Richard Harris were killed on August 19 when when their Humvee hit an improvised bomb in Bamyan. Kalta planned and led the attack.
The insurgent was also behind at attack that led to the death of another New Zealand soldier, Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell, in August 2010.

Comments and questions

A little bit of good news to start my day with a cuppa and bacon sammy.
Thanks to the Yanks, I guess. Now for the 2IC, etc.

Indeed. Thank you America.

I cannot understand what we are achieving here. The people will be no better off when we withdraw. Iraq is certainly no better than before we all went in.

"I cannot understand what we are achieving here."

The message is ... those who kill New Zealanders will be found and justice will be served.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

"Ninety percent of quotes on the internet are either misattributed or just plain made up."

- Abraham Lincoln

Gees, could those mosquitoes be any louder?

- Abdullah Kalta

Gettysburg address 1863? Internet sure has been around a long time.

I thought he said it was 80%?

I didn't know the internet was around when Abraham Lincoln was president. Amazing.

“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
― Mark Twain

Where's my 70 virgins???? Oh cr*p, the Christians were right!

- Abdullah Kalta

Well, it's not working. Four out of five Americans 18-24 can't find Afghanistan on a map. (Presumably that includes a few who are actually there)

Mark Twain??? Really??

Enjoy the virgins, Abdullah. I hope they are all Irish nuns with leather straps and a bad attitude ... for eternity.

Got his virgins, but they're all keen on him joining in with their Magic the Gathering tournament.

That'll teach them. I'm sure we'll never be bothered by the Taliban again.

Yep, another feel-good story.

This is indeed great news. You can run, but you can't hide. Ronald Reagan1982

I love it. Some lefty Greens would rather have those who killed our troops running around free rather than give credit to America for dealing justice to these thugs.

Given it isn't a war that's going on, wouldn't it have been correct to arrest those thought to have killed our people and bring them to justice before a court of law?
Or do will just kill people and say 'yep, that was them alright - as you were'?

In that particular country the penalty for murder is in fact death - end of story!

And we are sure the right people were killed? Or is it just a numbers game?

Can someone take out the trash, please.

Another one bites the dust!

Yeah right, just like the USA killed Osama Bin Laden...I remain cynical - this smells of political posturing. So much for creating peace by going to war. What a joke.

You don't think they really killed him, do you? He's sitting in a padded cell right now.

Let's just all be grateful that the Muslim fundamentalists who killed our Kiwis comrades are dead. Difference is, they have 70 virgins waiting for them in heaven... Yeah, right.

Helps sell the war. So, why not?

State-sanctioned murder is so hot right now.

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