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Death of Private Manning

Alliance leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton has paid tribute to the New Zealand soldier who lost his life in East Timor yesterday.

"When East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao was here two weeks ago he asked particularly to meet the troops who had held the most dangerous area in East Timor, the western border. He paid tribute to them. In a moving speech he remembered the two soldiers who had died in vehicle accidents and their families. Yesterday he contacted our government again, in sadness over another casualty.

"Private Manning is the first New Zealand soldier to die in action in nearly thirty years.

"He has paid a terrible price in the service of peace and security, in the service of freedom and in the service of the people of East Timor.

"Today as a nation we honour him. Our thoughts are with his family and his comrades in arms."

Media Enquiries: John Pagani [press secretary] 025 570 872, 04 471 9172

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