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Elite soldiers not camp builders

Max Bradford National Defence Spokesperson

22 January 2002

Elite soldiers not camp builders

National today called on Helen Clark to assure New Zealanders that our SAS troops are being utilised in the areas they are trained and funded for, rather than building camps for German commandos in Kabul, National Defence spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"It is little wonder that the Prime Minister would neither confirm nor deny that our troops were in Afghanistan when our most elite soldiers are acting more like army engineers in constructing buildings instead of being on active duty.

"For a Prime Minister who professes to respect openness in Government it is now clear the reason she wanted to keep this secret when the rest of the world knows what New Zealanders are not allowed to know - that we have troops in Afghanistan.

"We expect these specialist troops to be used in the roles they are trained and funded for. If the reports from the German newspapers that our SAS troops are renovating camps in Kabul are correct then I call on Helen Clark to act decisively over the use of our troops," Mr Bradford said.

Ends

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